A suicide bomber rammed a pickup truck filled with explosives into a Shiite mosque here Monday, killing at least 10 Iraqis, while the U.S. military reported the deaths of nine Americans on Sunday in this country’s volatile Al Anbar province.
Three Marines and a sailor were killed in hostile action, military officials said, providing no further details.
Five more Marines were killed in the western Iraqi province when their 7-ton truck rolled over in a flash flood. The military said another Marine was injured and two Marines and a sailor were missing after the incident.
The suicide truck bomber in Baghdad hid his explosives with dates. Worshipers were filtering out of the tiny mosque when the bomber struck. One witness said the explosion would have killed even more people if not for concrete barriers set in front of the mosque.
“The barricades were moved from their place by the force of the explosion,” said Oday Mohammed, 26.
Panicked bystanders helped emergency workers load nearly 40 wounded people into ambulances.
Some witnesses described the mosque as a bastion of followers of the cleric Muqtada Sadr, whose militia has been accused of kidnapping Sunni Arabs and attacking Sunni mosques in retaliation for attacks against Shiites.
An earlier car bombing Monday in northern Baghdad killed at least two people and injured seven.
The bodies of at least two men killed execution-style were discovered Monday in Baghdad. The day’s violence also extended to the country’s more placid north and south.
A prominent Sunni cleric was assassinated in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk. Sheik Omar Abdul-Razzaq Qaisi was gunned down in a mostly Sunni Arab section of the northern city, claimed by Kurds and ethnic Turkmens as well as Arabs.
In the south, an Iraqi army captain was killed and four others injured when gunmen opened fire on their convoy in Basra, Lt. Col. Kareem Zubaidi of the Basra police said.
A prominent Sunni Arab politician revealed that his brother had been kidnapped in a Sunni area north of Baghdad while doing political work. Salih Mutlaq, leader of an 11-member parliamentary bloc, said his brother had disappeared 10 days ago.
“I hope that they just want money,” Mutlaq said. “But I suspect that it’s some kind of revenge against me because I participated in the political process.”
Times staff writer Zainab Hussein and special correspondents in Baghdad, Basra and Kirkuk contributed to this report.