A bomb attack at a funeral in Tuz Khormato, Iraq, killed at least 18 people and injured other 75 to 90 attendants. The number of fatalities was originally counted as 18, but has been increased to 25 and even 42 as the search progressed.
M Starz reports that the incident at the Sayyid al-Shuhada mosque was caused by a suicide bomber. Tehran Times writes that no group has claimed the attack on the mosque until now.
Officials inform that the victims were mostly civilians. The mosque was a well-known gathering place for the Shiite community, and the funeral had been organized for the relative of a government official, Tehran Times specifies.
The town of Tuz Khormato is located 120 kilometers (130 miles) north of Baghdad. According to Wikipedia, some 70 percent of its inhabitants are Turkmen, while Arab and Kurdish inhabitants represent the other large ethnic minorities.
“The suicide bomber managed to enter and blow himself up in the middle of the mourners,” says Niyazi Moamer Oghlu, secretary general for the Salaheddin province.
Yalmaz Ogolu, who owns a TV station in the neighboring town, describes that the crowd was panicking.
“I heard a thunderous boom come from the mosque. [...] Seconds later, I saw panicked people fleeing the mosque while others carried bodies and wounded people out. [...] Police soon showed up and started shooting in the air," trying to disperse the frantic crowd in case of a second bomb,” he details.
“Corpses are on the ground of the Husseiniyah (Shia mosque),” added Mayor of Tuz Khurmatu, Shallal Abdul.
“The deliberate targeting of innocent civilians is cowardly and reprehensible. This attack is meant to incite others into violence and is harmful to the interests of all Iraqis,” an embassy rep said.