A police officer says a suicide bomber set off his explosives-laden belt today outside a Shiite mosque in downtown Baghdad as worshippers headed inside to attend noon prayers. He says the explosion also wounded 26 people.
A medical official confirmed the casualty figures. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to media.
The attack came as Iraq's Shiite-led government is struggling to contain the worst surge in sectarian violence since the country was pushed to the brink of civil war in 2006 and 2007. The UN says violence killed 8,868 people last year.