Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

'All is Well' for Lisa Simone

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

EU questions Apple's tax deals in Ireland

Read more

FOCUS

The Iraqi TV show where victims confront terrorists

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: Syrian student risks her life to film IS group stronghold

Read more

LIFESTYLES

Forgotten and fictional sports

Read more

DEBATE

Modi in America: India's Prime minister on triumphant US tour

Read more

DEBATE

Hong Kong protests: Pro-democracy movement gets global support

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

China censors Hong Kong protests on social media

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Diane von Fürstenberg, Fashion designer

Read more

Middle east

Suicide bombing kills Shiites in eastern Iraq

© AFP

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-11-14

At least 35 people were killed and 75 others injured in the eastern Iraqi city of al-Sadiya on Thursday after a suicide bomber targeted a crowd of Shiite Muslim pilgrims commemorating the religious day of Ashura.

A suicide bomber blew himself up during a Shi’ite Muslim religious ritual in the eastern Iraqi city of al-Sadiya on Thursday, killing at least 35 people and wounding 75, a senior official and security sources said.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which came on the day of Ashura, a holy ritual when Shi’ites commemorate the death of Imam Hussein, a grandson of Prophet Mohammad.

The bomber, who wore a police uniform, detonated an explosives belt in a crowd of pilgrims, who were mainly Shi’ite Kurds, the sources said. Most of the wounded pilgrims were taken to hospitals in Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region.

“I was near a group of pilgrims and suddenly I heard a big explosion,” Kadhim Al-Zarkooshi, 47, a taxi driver who was injured in the attack told Reuters at the hospital.

“Dust and smoke covered the area, then I found myself surrounded by corpses and wounded people, they were crying for help.”

Shi’ites are considered apostates by hardline Sunni Islamist insurgents who have been regaining momentum in Iraq this year. On Wednesday at least 19 people were killed in similar bomb attacks targeting Iraqi police and pilgrims.

The government blames al Qaeda for the rise in violence in the country, saying it seeks to destabilise the Shi’ite-led government and foment intercommunal conflict.

Insurgent attacks in Iraq have risen since the start of the year, with hundreds killed each month. The growing violence has raised fears of a return to the heights of bloodshed seen in 2006-7, when tens of thousands died.

Iraq’s sectarian balance has come under further pressure from the civil war in neighbouring Syria, where mainly Sunni rebels are fighting to topple a leader backed by Shi’ite Iran.

So far Shi’ite militias, most of which disarmed in recent years and joined the reconstituted security forces or entered the political process, have largely held their fire.

But a worsening Sunni insurgency could prompt Shi’ite militia to again take up arms to defend themselves.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2013-11-14

  • IRAQ

    Bomb blasts kill scores in attacks across Iraq

    Read more

  • IRAQ

    Dozens killed in bomb attack on Baghdad cafe

    Read more

  • IRAQ

    Deadly suicide bombings target Shiites in Iraq

    Read more

COMMENT(S)