A blast from a barrel full of explosives left outside of the Presidential Palaces Mosque used by Saddam Hussein in Tikrit, Iraq, has reportedly killed scores and wounded many others.
A second explosion, caused by a suicide bomber wearing an explosives vest in a Tikrit hospital treating wounded civilians, killed six more, Iraq's interior ministry officials told CNN.
The first blast Friday occurred after prayers at a Sunni mosque on the grounds of one of Saddam's presidential palaces, the Washington Post reports, killing at least 17. "High-ranking local officials often worship at the mosque, and many of them are believed to have been inside when the explosion took place," the paper added
Friday's attacks come a day after multiple blasts killed at least nine people in the city of Ramadi in western Iraq's Anbar province, Al Jazeera reports. A local official blamed Al Qaeda. "They always carry out multiple explosions to inflict as heavy casualties as possible on the security forces and civilians," Hikmet Khalaf, Anbar province deputy governor told Reuters.
On recent violence in Iraq, Al Jazeera writes:
While overall violence in Iraq has dropped from the height of sectarian warfare in 2006-7, bombings still occur daily and insurgents are still capable of carrying out lethal attacks almost eight years after the U.S.-led invasion.
In February, a suicide bomber blew himself up during a ceremony in a cultural center in Ramadi, killing 15 people and wounding 21.
Local authorities in Tikrit, meanwhile, have imposed a curfew on vehicles and pedestrians until further notice, ministry officials said Friday.