A car bomb ripped through a crowd of worshippers leaving Iraq’s holiest Shiite shrine after Friday prayers, killing at least 85 people — including a top cleric — in the deadliest attack since the fall of Saddam Hussein. The bomb, which also wounded more than 140, detonated outside the Imam Ali mosque as Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim emerged after delivering a sermon calling for Iraqi unity. The attack was viewed by many as an assassination. While many here blamed the attack on the Sunni Muslim followers of Saddam Hussein, there has been inter-Shiite violence recently in Iraq. Najaf is the headquarters of Iraq’s most powerful Shiite rivals, including followers of Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Ishaq al-Fayyad, Ayatollah Ali Hussein al-Sistani and Moqtada al-Sadr. Shiites make up about 60 percent of Iraq’s population. The blast gouged a 3 1/2-foot crater in the street in front of the mosque, tore apart nearby cars and reduced neighboring shops to a tangled mass of metal, wood and corpses. Full Story
About OODA Analyst
OODA is comprised of a unique team of international experts capable of providing advanced intelligence and analysis, strategy and planning support, risk and threat management, training, decision support, crisis response, and security services to global corporations and governments.