Page last updated at 17:51 GMT, Friday, 16 October 2009 18:51 UK

Suicide bombing hits Iraq mosque


A suicide bomber has attacked a mosque congregation in northern Iraq, killing at least 15 people and wounding more than 90 others, Iraqi police say.

The attack occurred in Talafar, west of Mosul, near the border with Syria, at a mosque used by Sunni Muslim Arabs.

Police say the bomber shot the imam of the mosque and other worshippers and then set off an explosives belt.

The town is a mixture of Sunnis and Shias, Arabs and Turkmen, and has been the scene of some large-scale attacks.

Overall, attacks in Iraq have declined though violence is common in some areas, including Mosul and Baghdad.

Baghdad and its surroundings have been a particular focus of sectarian attacks and insurgency following the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Friday's explosion was triggered as people gathered for the main congregational prayers of the week.

Witness Sahir Jalal, 37, said the cleric had just begun delivering his sermon when a man stood up, AP news agency reported.

"Then he took out a small rifle from under his jacket and started to shoot," he said.

Seconds later, the man shouted "God is great" and detonated his explosives, Mr Jalal said.

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