BAQUBA, Iraq, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- Three people were killed and 15 others injured in a bomb explosion near a Shiite mosque in the eastern Iraqi province of Diyala on Thursday, a provincial police source said.
The incident took place on Thursday morning when an explosive charge went off outside the mosque in the town of Khanaqin, near the Iranian border, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
Five of the wounded were in critical conditions, the source said.
Located some 160 km northeast of Baghdad, Khanaqin is dominated by Shiite Kurds. The town is part of the disputed area outside the northern autonomous Kurdish region between the Baghdad government and the Kurdish regional government.
Diyala province, which stretches from the eastern edges of Baghdad to the Iranian border east of the country, has long been a stronghold for al-Qaida militants and other insurgent groups since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 despite repeated U.S. and Iraqi military operations against them.
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