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Gunmen open fire in mosque

August 22, 2014

At least 50 people have died in a gun attack on a mosque in Iraq's Diyala province. Some witnesses put the death toll higher. In the jihadist-controlled city of Mosul, a man was reported to have been stoned to death.


Gunmen killed at least 50 worshipers when they opened fire on a Sunni mosque in the Iraqi province of Diyala on Friday, according to witnesses and medical officials. Hospital officials told dpa news agency that a total of 73 people had been killed in the attack near the city of Baquba.

There were varying accounts of the attack, with residents claiming it had been carried out by Shiite militiamen in revenge for roadside bombs that hit one of their patrols. Others, including an army captain and a policeman, blamed militants from the "Islamic State" (IS) group.

The deaths represent a setback in efforts to unite the Iraqi parliament to deal with the jihadist insurgency in northern Iraq by IS militants.

Earlier on Friday, Kurdish fighters advanced against IS in the north of the country, recapturing several villages near Mosul.

In Mosul, according to the Reuters news agency, a man was stoned to death for adultery after being sentenced by a self-appointed religious court. Similar stonings have been carried out in Syria, where the group became established in the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, but none had been reported in Iraq until now.

The "Islamic State," or IS, terror group has swept across the border in June, declaring a caliphate across the areas it controls.

rc/sb (Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa)

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