People gather by the entrance of a Shiite mosque in eastern Baghdad, Iraq, June 21, 2019. At least three people were killed and more than 15 others injured Friday in a bomb attack at a Shiite mosque in eastern Baghdad, an Interior Ministry source said, denying initial reports of suicide bombing. (Xinhua/Khalil Dawood)
BAGHDAD, June 21 (Xinhua) -- At least three people were killed and more than 15 others injured Friday in a bomb attack at a Shiite mosque in eastern Baghdad, an Interior Ministry source said, denying initial reports of suicide bombing.
The incident took place when a bomb hidden at the gate of Imam Mahdi mosque in Baladiyat neighborhood went off, as the worshippers were leaving the mosque, after they observed the weekly Friday prayer, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
The ministry source denied the initial reports of suicide bombing at the mosque, after explosive experts confirmed the blast was by an explosive device.
Earlier, the source said a suicide bomber detonated his explosive belt among Shiite worshippers at the mosque in Baladiyat neighborhood, putting the toll at three people killed and 15 others wounded.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Islamic State (IS) militant group, in many cases, was responsible for attacks targeting security forces and areas where crowds of people gather, including markets, cafes and mosques across Iraq.
The security situation in Iraq was dramatically improved after Iraqi security forces fully defeated the extremist IS militants across the country late in 2017.
But IS remnants have since melted in urban areas or resorted to deserts and rugged areas, carrying out guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians despite military operations from time to time to hunt them down.