A suicide bomber has struck a Shi’ite religious observance earlier today, killing at least two people and wounding four. There has been no immediate claim by any terrorist group, however the attack bear many similarities to assaults carried out by Islamic State.
The attack comes a day after another suicide bomber belonging to Islamic state detonated the explosive vest he was carrying during a Shi’ite religious gathering to commemorate the death of Hussein, the Prophet Mohammad’s grandson, killed during a battle in the seventh century. The attack claimed the lives of 41 people and wounded at least 33. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack which occurred on Saturday.
Islamic State, which consists mostly of Sunni Muslim extremists, considers Shiítes to be heretics and often targets their mosques and gatherings. Saturday’s bombing was the deadliest of assaults Islamic State has carried out since early July. The attacks also come at a time when Iraqi government forces are making final preparations for a battle to retake the IS-held northern city of Mosul.
However no one should be celebrating if ISIS is defeated at Mosul according to Hilal Khashan, who lectures political science at the University of Beirut, for the battle for Mosul is likely to stir up further sectarian tensions, including more suicide bombings.