Iraq works to ease tensions after mosque attack kills 70

Shiite Muslim fighters, loyal to Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, take part in a last combat training near the city of Najaf on August 23, 2014Iraqi officials worked Saturday to ease soaring tensions after 70 people were gunned down at a Sunni mosque, as attacks in Baghdad and areas to its north killed over 30 more. The attack at the mosque in Diyala province the day before, which most accounts said was the work of Shiite militiamen, threatens to increase anger among Iraq’s Sunni Muslim minority with the Shiite-led government at a time when an anti-militant drive depends on their cooperation. The violence came as the US, which is carrying out air strikes in Iraq against Islamic State (IS) jihadists, ramped up its rhetoric over the grisly killing of journalist James Foley by the group and shown in a video posted online. Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said Foley’s beheading “represents a terrorist attack against our country”.

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