BAGHDAD – An Iraqi official is blaming the Islamic State for the bombing of two Sunni mosques in a predominantly Shiite city in southern Iraq the previous night, saying the militant group seeks to stoke sectarian tensions.
The bombing in the city of Hilla late on Sunday damaged both mosques but caused no casualties, according to the government.
Provincial security official Falah al-Khafaji told The Associated Press he doesn't believe the explosions were linked to the escalating Saudi-Iran spat over the kingdom's execution of prominent Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, which sparked outrage in Iraq over the weekend.
Al-Khafaji says IS "did this to inflame sectarian strife in the country, starting in Hilla."
He says authorities are beefing up security around the two targeted mosques and other Sunni mosques in the city.