A suicide bomber attacked outside a Shi’ite Muslim mosque in western Baghdad on Sunday, killing 19 people and wounding 28 others.
The victims were mostly mourners attending a funeral, Reuters reported Monday, a police officer and a medical official.
“The attacker approached the entrance of the mosque and blew himself up among the crowd,” the police officer said.
The attack in the affluent neighborhood of Harthiya was the latest in a surge of bombings that have rocked Baghdad over the last month, most of them claimed by Islamic militants.
Meanwhile, Australia has reached an agreement with Iraq for its special forces to support Iraqi forces in their fight against Islamic jihadists.
“We have reached an agreement for a legal framework and now it will be a matter for our military when our special forces will be deployed,” Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Wednesday that 200 members of the special forces had not entered Iraq and had been waiting in the United Arab Emirates since mid-September because Baghdad had not offered them formal legal protections.
Bishop told reporters on Sunday the understanding would allow the Australian special forces “to be deployed here to advise and assist the government of Iraq in building up the capacity of the Iraqi security forces”.
Australian fighter jets began hitting targets inside Iraq this month as part of the United States-led coalition to beat back the radical the Islamic militants, which controls territory in both Iraq and Syria, the report said.
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