A suicide bomber struck a Shiite mosque during Friday prayers in Baghdad, killing at least 10 people and wounding 20, police said, as violence persisted in the capital despite a massive security operation aimed at restoring order.
Police Lieutenant Thaer Mahmoud said the attacker blew himself up at the Buratha mosque in northern Baghdad.
Mahmoud said the bomber was wearing an explosive belt, but Jalal Eddin al-Sagheer, the preacher at the mosque and one of the country's leading politicians, however, said the explosives were inside a worshipper's shoes.
He said guards first arrested a suspected attacker after discovering explosives as they were searching shoes left outside the mosque. The bomber blew himself up when confronted by the guards as they began searching worshippers with shoes beside them inside the mosque, al-Sagheer said.
It was the second time the mosque has been hit in just over two months. The Buratha mosque also was attacked during Friday prayers on April 7, when four suicide bombers, including a woman, set off their explosives, killing at least 85 worshippers as they left the mosque after the main weekly religious service.
The U.S. military blamed that attack on Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Al Qaeda in Iraq leader who was killed last week in a U.S. airstrike. The terror group issued a statement Tuesday vowing to avenge Zarqawi's death and threatening horrific attacks "in the coming days."
It is as if they desire to "kill all of mankind" (5:32-33).
(related: hirabah, the muharib, and hujjat)