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Middle east

Shiite pilgrims killed in new attacks across Iraq

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-01-09

A new series of attacks across Iraq on Monday left 11 people dead, many of them Shiite pilgrims, in bombings in and around the capital, including a car bomb that killed four people near a Shiite mosque in southwest Baghdad.

AFP - Attacks across Iraq on Monday, many of which targeted Shiites, killed 11 people and wounded dozens, including 15 Afghans visiting the country for religious commemorations, officials said.

The violence included bombings in and around Baghdad against Shiite worshippers walking to the shrine city of Karbala, 110 kilometres (70 miles) south of the capital, for Arbaeen rituals later this week.

In the deadliest attack, a car bomb blast killed four people and wounded at least 25 near Husseiniyah Shiite mosque in Muasalat, southwest Baghdad, at about 6:30 pm (1530 GMT), said officials from the ministries of interior and defence.

About half an hour later, another car bomb explosion killed one person and wounded at least five others in Shaab, a Shiite neighbourhood in the east of the capital, the officials said on condition of anonymity.

Just south of Baghdad in the town of Owairij, a roadside bomb on Monday morning targeting devotees walking to Karbala killed one pilgrim and wounded at least nine others, according to the officials.

And on the outskirts of the central city of Hilla, a car bomb wounded 15 Afghan pilgrims, three of them seriously, police and medics said.

The festival of Arbaeen later this month marks 40 days after the Ashura anniversary commemorating the killing of Imam Hussein, one of Shiite Islam's most revered figures, by the armies of the Caliph Yazid in 680 AD.

As part of the ceremonies, Shiite pilgrims walk to Karbala from across Iraq. Devotees also descend on the city from around the world.

Attacks on Shiites in the capital and southern Iraq on Thursday killed 70 people and wounded more than 100, the highest death toll since August, as a row between the Shiite-led government and the main Sunni-backed bloc stoked sectarian tensions.

Meanwhile, in Baghdad, gunmen burst into the home of Fatma Tayyiq, a branch manager for the Commercial Bank of Iraq, and shot her and husband dead in the capital's central Karrada district, an interior ministry official said.

It was not immediately clear why Tayyiq was targeted.

And in the northern ethnically mixed city of Kirkuk, an insurgent opened fire on a group of security officers from Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, known as the asayesh, killing two officers and wounding two others, a police officer and a doctor at the city's hospital said.

The gunman was killed in return fire.

In the former insurgent bastion of Fallujah, west of Baghdad, a roadside bomb killed one Iraqi soldier and wounded three others, army Lieutenant Colonel Yassin Mohammed said.
 

Date created : 2012-01-09

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