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Friday's attacks on Iraqi Shiites a worrying sign

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For the second Friday in a row, bombs targeted Iraqi Shiites on Islam's day of prayer. This time there were at least 37 victims. Last Friday, the coordinated bombings of five mosques around Baghdad killed 29.

In 2006 and 2007, sectarian warfare between Iraq's majority Shiite Arabs and the Sunni Arabs who were Iraq's most favored group under Saddam Hussein killed thousands – and displaced hundreds of thousands from their homes.

That fighting has largely died down, raising hopes for reconciliation and end to Iraq's insurgency, but there have been worrying signs lately that all is not well. US officials have warned that Iraq's dominant Shiite politicians are not making the sort of compromises on revenue-sharing and government employment that would allay Sunni Arab concerns that they are becoming the country's new second-class citizens.

The most deadly of this Friday's attacks was the murder of 30 people at a Shiite Turkmen mosque in Mosul, the northern city that has long been one of Iraq's most troubled. AFP reports that the attack was by a suicide bomber.

Police said a further 72 people were wounded in the Mosul suicide bombing, the latest in a spate of deadly attacks against Shiites which have stoked fears of a return to the sectarian conflict which swept the country in 2006 and 2007.
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