BAGHDAD, July 7: Attacks on mosques after Friday prayers killed 11 people in Iraq and 40 were killed or wounded in a raid by Iraqi forces on Shia fighters that the US military said netted a top militant wanted for kidnap and murder.

In a separate raid, Iraqi and US forces arrested another commander of the Mehdi Army militia south of Baghdad; a man the US military alleged was responsible for smuggling weapons, including surface-to-air missiles, and spying for Iran.

The sectarian attacks, three on mosques and a car bomb that killed six after Friday prayers, were new blows to Mr Maliki’s attempts to end sectarian clashes that has pitched Iraq towards all-out civil war.

The overnight assault on a building in Baghdad’s Sadr City slum killed seven people, mostly Mehdi fighters, police and witnesses said. The US military did not identify the group but said the commander targeted had been captured.

The US military said Adnan al-Unaybi, a local leader of Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mehdi Army, was detained in an Iraqi-US raid near Hilla, 100kms south of Baghdad, on Thursday.

In the village of Tal Banat, near Mosul, a car bomb outside a mosque killed six and wounded 46, police said.

Around the same time, a mortar attack and a car bomb killed five people and wounded nine near two mosques in Baghdad. A roadside bomb near a mosque in Baquba wounded seven.

At dusk, a mortar attack killed three and wounded about 30 in the mainly Shula district of Baghdad, police said.

The US military said the wanted man in Sadr City, whom it declined to name, was seized after a firefight in which Iraqi troops killed or wounded 30-40 guerillas. —Reuters

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