Gunman Kills 13 At Mosque in North
A gunman opened fire Friday in a mosque in northern Iraq, shooting several worshipers before blowing himself up, security officials said. Thirteen people were killed.
Police said the gunman attacked the mosque during the noon prayer in a Sunni Muslim neighborhood of Tall Afar, a predominantly Shiite town in Nineveh province populated by the Turkmen ethnic minority.
Tall Afar, 260 miles north of Baghdad and near the Syrian border, has long been the target of suicide attackers and car bombers, but Friday's attack marked one of the few times that a Sunni mosque there was attacked. Security officials said the mosque was probably targeted because its preacher, Abdel Satar Hassan, who was among the dead, was a staunch critic of al-Qaeda.
An Interior Ministry official said that moments before the attack, a car carrying four gunmen and the driver refused to stop at a checkpoint at the town's entrance. When soldiers opened fire on the car, three of the armed men fled. The fourth one walked into the mosque and opened fire on worshipers with an AK-47 assault rifle.
When that gunman ran out of ammunition, the official said, he detonated his explosives-laden belt.
-- Nada Bakri
Four U.S. Troops Die in Bombing
A roadside bomb killed four American troops in southern Afghanistan, the U.S. military said Friday.
Two of the service members were killed instantly in the Thursday blast and two died of their wounds, the military said in a statement. No further details were released.
The deaths bring to 25 the number of U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan this month, according to an Associated Press count.