Iraq bombs target pilgrims, kill 32
Two car bombs targeting Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad killed at least 32 people and wounded dozens more on Saturday, marring the peak day of commemorations for a revered Shiite imam.
- Published: 16/06/2012 at 08:45 PM
- Newspaper section: breakingnews
An interior ministry official said a car bomb exploded at about 12:15pm on a highway near Shuala in the Iraqi capital, killing 14 people and wounding 32, while a second car bomb exploded at the Aden intersection near Kadhimiyah about 2pm, killing 18 people and wounding 36.
A medical source said Baghdad hospitals had received nine bodies and 47 wounded people from the first attack, and 25 bodies and 105 wounded from the second.
The attacks came as tens of thousands of Shiite pilgrims flocked to the Kadhimiyah area of the city for the climax of commemorations marking the death in 799 of Imam Musa Kadhim, the seventh of 12 revered imams.
Fadhel al-Anbari, secretary general of the Imam Kadhim shrine, said at a news conference that a total of six million people had participated in the commemorations, which began about a week ago.
On Wednesday, 72 people were killed and more than 250 wounded in bomb and gun attacks across the country, with Al-Qaeda's local affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq, claiming responsibility.
Shiite pilgrimages were prohibited under the rule of Saddam Hussein, but they have attracted huge numbers of people in the years since his overthrow in 2003.
Along with the security forces, the Shiite majority in Iraq has been a main target of Sunni Arab armed groups since the fall of Saddam's Sunni-dominated regime.
Violence has declined dramatically since the 2006-2007 peak of sectarian bloodshed, but attacks remain common, especially in Baghdad. A total of 132 Iraqis were killed in May, official figures show.
About the author
- Writer: AFP
- Position: News agency