Two People Killed In Bomb Attack Near Shiite Mosque

From Bernama:
Two people were killed and three wounded near a mosque for Shiite Turkoman minority in the ethnically-mixed city of Tuz-Khurmato in Iraq's northern central province of Salahudin, sparking sporadic clashes with the Kurds in the volatile city, China's Xinhua news agency reported, citing a provincial security source on Saturday.

The incident occurred after midnight when a roadside bomb detonated outside the Shiite Turkoman mosque in Tuz-Khurmato, leaving two people killed and three others wounded, along with damaging the mosque, the source from Salahudin's provincial police told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The casualties pushed the already existing tension to grow wild sparking sporadic clashes with small arms and machine guns between the Kurdish forces, known as Peshmerga, and the predominantly-Shiite Hashd Shaabi brigade in the main street of the city, the source said.

The clashes, which caused no human casualties, continued to the dawn, and the situation has been cautiously calm during the morning hours, the source said.

Tuz-Khurmato, some 90 km east of Salahudin's provincial capital of Tikrit, is made up mostly of Turkoman Shiite and sizable Kurdish and Sunni Arab population.

Previously, the city witnessed repeated clashes between the Kurds and Shiite militias, as the city and surrounding areas are part of the disputed areas outside the Kurdistan region. There is also a conflict of Sunni Arabs against Shiite Hashd Shaabi brigades, or against Peshmerga.

The disputed areas are claimed by the Kurds and both Arabs and Turkomans. The Kurds want to incorporate the areas on the edge of their Kurdistan region, but their move is fiercely opposed by Baghdad government.

The bomb attack in the city came as tensions are running high between Baghdad government and the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan after the Kurdish region held a controversial referendum on independence of Kurdistan and disputed areas, including the city of Tuz-Khurmato.

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