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US Condemns Attack on Shi'ite Mosque That Kills 79

The United States has condemned Friday's suicide bombing of a Shi'ite mosque in Baghdad that killed at least 79 people and injured more than 160 others.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the attack was the work of people trying to divide Iraq and encourage sectarian violence. He said the deadly blasts were carried out by those who have no respect for religion.

Security officials say three suicide bombers dressed as women blew themselves up as worshippers were leaving the Baratha mosque in northern Baghdad after Friday prayers. The mosque is affiliated with the country's main Shi'ite political party, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.

No group has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack, which comes one day after a car bomb detonated near a Shi'ite shrine, the tomb of Imam Ali, in Najaf killed at least 10 people.

The rising sectarian violence threatens efforts to form a national government.

Talks among the three main political factions in Iraq have been stalled for months. Officials say the main sticking point is Iraqi Interim Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, who has refused to step down as the Shi'ite nominee for the powerful post.

Iraq's Kurdish and Sunni Arab leaders oppose his nomination, saying he has not done enough to stop the violence.

Some information for this report provided by AP, Reuters and AFP.