A suicide bomber made his way into a mosque north of Baghdad and blew himself up in the middle of a packed funeral on Wednesday, leading to the death of 42 people and leaving corpses scattered across the floor.
In details, the bomber struck at the Sayid al-Shuhada mosque in Tuz Khurmatu, 175 kilometers (110 miles) north of Baghdad, and targeted the funeral of a relative of a politician who was shot dead a day earlier.
“Corpses are on the ground of the Husseiniyah,” said Shallal Abdul, mayor of Tuz Khurmatu. “The suicide bomber managed to enter and blow himself up in the middle of the mourners.”
Niyazi Moamer Oghlu, secretary general of the provincial council of Salaheddin, which surrounds Tuz Khurmatu, put the toll from the attack at 42 dead and 117 wounded.
Among those hurt were officials and tribal leaders, including Ali Hashem Oghlu, the deputy chief of the Iraqi Turkman Front and a provincial councilor in Salaheddin.
The funeral had been for Oghlu’s brother-in-law, who was killed in Tuz on Tuesday.
The death toll from Wednesday’s blast was the highest from a single attack since a series of bombings north of Baghdad on July 23 killed 42 people.
Also on Wednesday, gunmen killed a school principal near the main northern city of Mosul and an anti-Qaida militiaman was shot dead near Fallujah.
Wednesday’s violence came after a wave of attacks on Tuesday killed 26 people and wounded dozens more.
That broke four days of relative calm following a spate of incidents claimed by al-Qaida’s front group that killed at least 88 people on January 15-17, according to an AFP tally.
The latest wave of violence means the overall death toll from bloodshed in Iraq this month has already surpassed that of any of the previous three months, according to an AFP tally based on reports from security and medical officials.