Sectarian violence between Sunni and Shia militants is again growing in Iraq. A series of bombings targeting civilians at mosques and funerals has rocked Baghdad over the past week.
In the latest attack, a suicide car bomb and two other bombs exploded at the site of a Shia funeral in the Sadr City district of Baghdad on 21 September, killing at least 60 people and wounding over a 100 more.
Shia militants were probably behind an attack the day before in Samarra, when two bombs exploded at a Sunni mosque during Friday prayers.
According to the BBC, “Sectarian violence has surged across Iraq in recent months, reaching its highest level since 2008. The violence was triggered in April by an army raid on a Sunni Muslim anti-government protest camp near Hawija, also north of Baghdad. The country has also seen a spill-over of violence from the conflict in Syria, which has taken on increasingly sectarian overtones.”
The sectarian violence has greatly intensified, producing numerous casualties. The BBC reports that “More than 5,000 people have died so far this year in Iraq, 800 of them in August alone, according to the United Nations.”
NIU graduate students in HIST 740 Religious Violence and Sectarian Violence will be interested in these developments.