A suicide bomber has killed 10 people and wounded more than 20 others at a Shi'ite mosque in Baghdad -- despite a massive security crackdown in the Iraqi capital.
Witnesses said the bomber detonated explosives, as worshippers gathered for Friday prayers. The mosque's imam Jalal Eddin al-Sagheer blamed the attack on al-Qaida in Iraq. A triple suicide bombing at the same mosque in April killed more than 80 people.
In a separate incident today, a mortar barrage killed two people and wounded 16 others in a commercial area of northern Baghdad. In the mainly Shi'ite southern city of Basra, gunmen killed a Sunni cleric.
Tens of thousands of Iraqi and U.S.-led coalition troops are taking part in the security clampdown in Baghdad. The operation began Wednesday. U.S. Major General James Thurman says despite today's violence, the level of bloodshed in Baghdad has dropped in recent days.
General Thurman told Pentagon reporters via teleconference from Baghdad that the security operation is designed to disrupt terrorist cells and target groups opposed to the Iraqi government. The general stressed that Iraqi forces are taking the lead in the crackdown.
In a statement posted on the Internet, an Iraqi militant coalition, the Mujahideen Shura Council, vowed that the insurgency will not weaken -- despite the death of al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in a U.S. airstrike last week.