At least 15 people were killed and 60 others wounded Thursday when a suicide attacker detonated an explosives-laden vehicle in the northern Iraqi village of al-Mouafaqiyah, a police source told Efe.

Some of the injured are in serious condition and the death toll could rise, the source said.

Most of the village residents belong to the Shabak minority, who are largely Shi'ite Muslims and speak their own distinct language.

Al-Mouafaqiyah is near Mosul, capital of Ninevah, a province whose population is mixed in terms of both ethnicity and sect.

Radical Sunnis have previously targeted Shabaks, who reside mainly in Ninevah and Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.

Nearly 1,000 people died last month in Iraq as a result of political or sectarian violence, bringing the civilian death toll for the year so far to almost 6,000, according to figures from the U.N. mission in Baghdad.

Attacks against security forces and the Shi'ite community are frequent. EFE