NEWS

Suicide Bombers Kill Over 20 in Baghdad

By Matthew Harwood

Suicide bombers unleashed two separate attacks in Baghdad this morning targeting Shiite Muslims celebrating the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, killing over 20 people.

The New York Times reports the first attack occurred in a Shiite neighborhood in the middle-class Zafraniya district when a car bomber rammed a taxi into an armored car that guarded the local mosque. The explosion killed eight people, including two Iraqi soldiers.

In the second attack, a suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest detonated himself outside a Shiite mosque in the Shiite district of Jadida while being frisked, reports Agence France Presse. Twelve people were killed and over 30 wounded.

AFP described the gruesome scene:

Mosque security chief Mohammed Borhan, 29, pointed to the sidewalk where the suicide bomber's head landed, face to the sky. It was a few yards (meters) away from where the man detonated his explosives.

Borhan filmed the remains of the bomber. The man's face was almost perfectly intact, with eyes wide open and a hint of bewilderment.

The attacks were timed for the Shiite celebration of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan when Muslims worldwide fast from sunrise to sunset for a month. Sunnis and Shiites celebrate Eid al-Fitr on different days. Sunnis began celebrating the feast yesterday.

The U.S. military says violence in Iraq is at a four-year low, but the Guardian reports insurgents and terrorists have stepped up attacks during Ramadan.

(The BBC has documented the attacks in pictures, here.)

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