Three mosques in an Iraqi city south of Baghdad have been bombed and partially destroyed, with no group yet claiming responsibility.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi confirmed that the attacks on Sunni mosques in the city of Hilla, in Iraq’s Babil governorate took place on Sunday night.
He warned the population against being dragged into sectarian conflict in a Facebook post on Monday.
“We have told the operations leaders in Babil [governorate] to track down the criminal gangs from groups like Daesh [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] and the like, which use [the attacks on] the mosques to stir up sedition and undermine national unity,” the prime minister wrote.
But while Abadi blamed groups such as ISIL for the attacks, security sources in Babil told Al Jazeera that armed Shia groups were responsible for the bombings – linking them to the recent flare up of tension surrounding the Saudi execution of Shia Muslim figure Nimr al-Nimr
Protests were held in Iran condemning the execution, and Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Tehran after protesters attacked the Saudi embassy there. Al Jazeera