Baghdad mosque blasts toll rises to 54


Baghdad : At least 54 people were killed Friday in a series of bomb blasts targeting Shia mosques in the Iraqi capital, security sources said.

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Officials said 180 people were injured in the blasts.

Al-Arabiya television reported 67 people were killed and 112 people injured. Five the of the six blasts took place near Shia mosques as people gathered for Friday weekly prayers.

Two car bombs detonated in the al-Horriya and al-Rahmaniya areas, another bomb targeted people praying in al-Sadr city, eastern Baghdad.

Another went off targeting Hussayneyet al-Sadrein mosque in al-Zaafaraneya, southern Baghdad.

An explosive device went off inside a shopping mall in the al-Dora area, while a suicide bombing occurred near a mosque in the al-Amin area.

The Baghdad bombings came hours after seven bombs shook the mainly Sunni town of al-Khalidiya, 80 km west of the capital, killing eight people, including seven in one family, and injuring 10.

The bombs went off next to houses of two businessmen, a judge and police patrols in al-Khalidiya.

One of the blasts killed a businessman, his wife and their five children, security sources said. A police officer was killed when another bomb exploded when he arrived at the scene.

Iraqi observers believe the bombing series could be an act of revenge by Al Qaeda terrorists after combined Iraqi and US forces over the past few weeks had killed several leaders of the terror network.