Mortar fire kills 7 Sunni worshippers in Iraq

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi authorities say mortar fire has killed seven Sunni worshippers and wounded 14 others in a town north of Baghdad.

Police say the attack came just after the end of Friday prayers as the worshippers were leaving the Sunni mosque of al-Muthana in Khalis, a former stronghold of Sunni insurgency. Khalis is 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Baghdad.

Police said that part of the mosque was destroyed the mortar attack.

Medic in a nearby hospital confirmed the dead toll. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.

Violence has been on the rise ahead of Iraqi provincial elections set for Saturday.

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