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Iraq Mosque Explosion Set Off by Bomb-Making Class, says US Military - 2003-07-02

The U.S. military says a blast that rocked a mosque Monday in the Iraqi city of Fallujah was set off in a bomb-making class.

U.S. Central Command says the explosion was triggered by a class being taught in how to make bombs at the Al-Hasan mosque in Fallujah.

A small building adjacent to the mosque was leveled in the Monday explosion, which killed at least five people and wounded several others.

Hundreds of mourners at the funeral Tuesday chanted anti-American slogans, blaming the blast on what they said was a U.S. air strike on the mosque.

But a CENTCOM statement says an investigation by local Iraqi police and coalition forces indicates the explosion stemmed from a bomb-making class, and was in no way caused by U.S. troops. The statement gave no details about the evidence the investigators have to support that claim.

The issue has inflamed tensions in an already volatile area, where U.S. troops have come under repeated attacks in recent weeks.