ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – An explosion at a mosque in Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood on Wednesday is being reported to have left at least 18 killed and more than 90 wounded.
According to a statement from the Iraqi Security Media Center, the blast was a result of a cache of weapons and ammunition in the mosque being detonated. Reuters quoted a police source as saying that the explosion happened while weapons were being transferred from the mosque to a vehicle.
A previous security statement had called it “a terrorist aggression on civilians.” Early media reports also stated that there were two explosions. The Security Media Center added that security forces had launched an investigation into the incident.
“The explosions led to the collapse of some houses nearby,” Iraq-based al-Sumeriya News reported.
No security statements have so far announced to whom the weapons and ammunition belonged, but Sadr City is a stronghold of militia members loyal to cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose Sairoon Coalition was the top vote-getter in the May 12 national elections.
The northeastern neighborhood of Baghdad was previously called Saddam City, but has been unofficially renamed after Sadr's father, Mohammad Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr.
Editing by John J. Catherine