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Iraq suicide bomber kills 15

The assailant shot the imam of a mosque in the northern Iraq city of Tall Afar before turning his assault rifle on other worshipers, wounding 95 in addition to those killed, officials and witnesses said.

October 17, 2009|Associated Press

BAGHDAD — A suicide bomber who hid among the Sunni Muslim congregation in a northern Iraqi mosque sprayed gunfire at worshipers Friday and then blew himself up, killing at least 15 people, including the imam who was leading prayers, officials said.

The brazen attack was the latest against Sunni clerics who have increasingly spoken out against the militant group Al Qaeda in Iraq since American combat troops withdrew from Iraqi cities and towns at the end of June. The clerics and others fear that militants could take advantage of the transition to step up the kind of sectarian attacks that pushed Iraq to the brink of civil war two years ago.

The man who opened fire in the mosque in Tall Afar, a city about 245 miles northwest of Baghdad, first shot the imam, Abdul-Satar Hassan, before turning his AK-47 assault rifle on worshipers, witnesses said. He detonated his explosives after running out of ammunition.

Ninety-five other people were wounded, said Ismail Majeed, a doctor at Tall Afar hospital.

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