A string of bombings at Shi'ite mosques in Baghdad has killed at least 28 people and wounded more than 130 others, Iraqi police say.
According to police, at least six apparently coordinated blasts hit mosques around the capital just as worshippers were leaving Friday prayers, Voice of America reports.
The most devastating attack was in the northeastern district of Al-Shaab, where a car bombing killed 23 people and wounded 107 others, an interior ministry official said.
The mosque itself is occupied by Iraqi special forces, and before the car bomb exploded worshippers, many of them loyal to Sadr, were praying between the building itself and the parking lot.
Witnesses at the mosque said worshippers had told local police of their suspicions regarding a 1980s Volkswagen Passat, but they were assured that the vehicle was safe, AFP reports.
“It is a horrific scene,” said Ali Riyadh, 18, who had been attending the prayers and was wearing a white robe stained with blood from people he had helped rescue. “People lost their limbs, and some had their faces blown off. I haven’t seen anything like this.”
The street, witnesses said, had been closed to traffic, and only residents of the area were permitted to park there. The National Police closed the mosque because they suspected the Sadr militia of using as a base for anti-government operations, the witnesses said, The New York Times reports.
Russian officials have repeatedly declared that Israeli aviation poses a threat to the Russian military in Syria.