A suicide bomber detonated near the northern city of Mosul Thursday, killing fifteen people according to AFP sources. The fatal blast was reported in the Al-Muawaffaqiyah area, east of Mosul.
The area is home to the small Shabak minority,  known for their distinct dialogue and religious practices that blend Shiite Islam with local beliefs.
According to AFP figures, more than 330 people have been killed so far this month, and over 5,000 this year. Fears are arising that this recent, unprecedented surge in violence will lead to 2006-2007 levels of sectarian conflicts and bloodshed.