Shi'ite militiamen attack Sunni mosque in Baghdad

January 12, 2007 15:13

Suspected Shiite militiamen attacked a Sunni mosque in a religiously mixed neighborhood of Baghdad, prompting clashes that wounded two guards, as weekly services were ending on Friday, police said. The attackers defied a weekly four-hour vehicle ban aimed at preventing suicide car bombings by approaching the Mohammed Rashoul Allah mosque on foot at about 1 p.m. from an adjacent area in the western Jihad neighborhood, a local police officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of security concerns. They fired machine guns at the mosque, then began fighting with mosque guards and other people in the area. The officer said the clashes ended when national police forces arrived at the scene, and the worshippers left unharmed. But a witness, who also declined to be identified for fear of reprisals, later said the area came under mortar attack. The Interior Ministry, which controls the national police forces, could not immediately be reached for comment.

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