Swedes killed in Baghdad bombs

Two Swedes were killed and six injured in Friday's suicide bomb attack on a Shiite mosque in Baghdad, Sweden's foreign ministry said Saturday.

The victims were a Swedish man, Asaad Alsuheil, and his six-year old son, the secretary of the Islamic Shia Foundation in Sweden, Mohamad Alubeid, told news agency TT. The father and son lived in the Stockholm area, and had been in Iraq to visit relatives, he added.

At least a further six Swedes, relatives of those killed, were injured in the attack, according to Aftonbladet. A number of the injured were children, the paper reported.

Jan Janonius, press spokesman at Sweden’s foreign ministry, said that Swedish diplomats had not yet been able to confirm the information.

“If the family had entered Iraq using Iraqi passports, we would not always be informed of developments,” he told The Local.

Relatives of those Swedes hit by the attack gathered on Friday evening at the Imam Ali mosque in Järfälla, near Stockholm. The atmosphere was one of grief and anger, according to Alubeid, a friend of the family.

“A memorial ceremony will be held Saturday,” he told TT.

Some 80 people were killed in the attack on the Buratha mosque in the north of the Iraqi capital, one of the most important places of worship for Shia muslims in Baghdad. The attack took place just after Friday prayers as people were leaving the building, the BBC reports.

Sheikh Jalaluddin al-Saghir told news agency AP that the attack had been carried out be three suicide bombers, of which at least one was dressed as a woman. The bombings are believed to be intended to stir up animosity between Sunni and Shia muslims.

The Swedish foreign ministry, which has its nearest mission in the Jordanian capital Amman, is continuing to advise against travel to Iraq, and is appealing to Swedes to leave the country. The security situation is described as “very serious”, with the number of attacks and kidnappings increasing.

TT/AFP/The Local