Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
BAGHDAD (AP) — A double bombing of a Sunni mosque in Baghdad and a shooting west of the Iraqi capital killed seven people on Friday, officials said, the latest attacks in a wave of violence roiling the country.
The police said a bomb went off just after Friday prayers as Sunni worshippers were coming out from the Ali Bin Abi Talib mosque in Baghdad’s western Shurta district.
A second bomb, planted further down the street, exploded seconds later among worshippers trying to flee from the first blast. Police said the two bombings killed five people and wounded 15. Security forces quickly sealed off the area around the mosque.
In the western city of Fallujah, a former al-Qaida stronghold 65 kilometers (40 miles) from Baghdad, gunmen sprayed a security checkpoint with bullets, killing two policemen and wounding two others, said police officials.
Two hospital officials confirmed the casualties in the latest attacks. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.
Attacks on mosques, especially Sunni ones, have increased recently and while it’s possible that Sunni insurgents seeking to stoke sectarian hatred could be to blame for them, Shiite militias may also be behind the assaults.
Friday’s violence comes a day after a series of attacks across Iraq left 30 people dead, most of them soldiers who were killed when two suicide bombers drove their explosive-laden cars into a military base in the town of Tarmiyah, just north of Baghdad. Tarmiyah is also a former insurgent stronghold and home to Sunnis.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks of the past two days.
But suicide attacks and large bombings, especially against Iraqi forces but also civilians, are a favorite tactic of al-Qaida’s local branch. The terror group has recently escalated its campaign of violence in order to thwart the Shiite-led government’s efforts to maintain security.
Violence spiked in Iraq since a deadly security crackdown on a Sunni protest camp in April, with the pace of killing reaching levels unseen since 2008. Friday’s attacks bring the death toll across the country this month to 85, according to an Associated Press count.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.