In a show of national unity, Shiite and Sunni worshippers hold joint prayers in a Sunni mosque in downtown Baghdad.


BAGHDAD - A suicide attacker and a car bombing killed at least 19 people and wounded 38 in separate attacks Friday targeting Shiites.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, the latest in an increasing wave of violence across the country.

Iraq has been facing its deadliest outburst of violence since 2008, with more than 2,000 people killed since the start of April. The bloodshed appears to be largely the work of resurgent Sunni militants such as al-Qaida's Iraq branch, feeding off Sunni discontent with the Shiite-led government.

The deadliest attack on Friday took place in Baghdad's Kiraiyat neighborhood as worshippers gathered after the evening call to prayers at the Hussienieh Ali Basha mosque. A suicide bomber walked in during the service and detonated his explosives, killing 15 worshippers and wounding 32, a police officer and a medical official said.

The head of the Salahuddin provincial health directorate, Raed Ibrahim, confirmed the casualty figures in the car bombing in Samarra, north of Baghdad.

Since December, Iraq's Sunni minority has been staging demonstrations over what it calls second-class treatment by the Shiite-led government.

Violence increased sharply in April and May, with frequent bombings in civilian areas raising concerns that a widespread sectarian conflict could once again break out in Iraq.