Explosions rocked two Sunni mosques in central Iraq early on January 4 amid fears of renewed sectarian violence following Saudi Arabia's execution of a prominent Shi'ite cleric.
Authorities said a Sunni muezzin -- the person appointed to recite the Muslim call to prayer -- also was shot dead near his home in the town of Iskandariyah early on January 4.
Iraqi police say the Sunni mosques in and near the city of Hilla were bombed by groups of men who were wearing military uniforms.
The attacks were in a predominantly Shi’ite area to the south of Baghdad and about 50 kilometers east of the Shi’ite holy city of Karbala.
One of the targets of the attack was the Ammar bin Yasser mosque in the Bakerli neighborhood of Hilla.
Ten nearby houses also were damaged by that blast and three people were injured.
The other attack targeted the Al-Fateh mosque in a village called Sinjar, just outside of Hilla.
Based on reporting by AP and AFP