BAGHDAD - Al-Qaida's Iraq affiliate carried out a suicide attack on a Baghdad mosque that killed more than two dozen people in a campaign against moderate Sunnis allied with the government, Sunni politicians and security officials said on Monday.
The attack on the Umm al-Qura mosque on Sunday recalled the darker days of sectarian violence in 2006-07 when Shi'ite-Sunni fighting pushed Iraq to the edge of civil war.
Leaders of the Iraqi Islamic Party, a major Sunni political bloc, said Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), an affiliate of Sunni Islamist al-Qaida, carried out the bombing to kill one of IIP's most prominent leaders, Sunni lawmaker Khalid al-Fahdawi. It was part of a campaign against moderate Sunnis that began four weeks ago and has killed seven IIP leaders, they said.
"Al-Qaida has been distributing a lot of leaflets which say that there is no repentance for IIP members anymore, and killing them is allowed everywhere," Rasheed al-Azawi, an IIP leader, told Reuters.