At least 16 people were killed on Friday in bombings targeting two Sunni mosques in Baquba, some 57 kilometres north-east of the capital Baghdad, said security officials.

Two back-to-back explosions occurred as worshippers were leaving one mosque, killing at least 15 people and injuring 26 others, the officials added.

One person was killed and five were injured in an explosion near a second Baquba mosque, said police.

Iraq has witnessed near-daily attacks since US troops withdrew in December 2011, raising fears of a return to the sectarian tensions that drove the country to the brink of civil war in 2006 and 2007.

The violence comes amid a widening crisis between the Shiite-led Government and the country’s once-dominant Sunni minority.

Thousands of Sunni protesters have been holding protests for nearly four months to demand Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki repeal laws which they claim target Sunnis.

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