Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Ten policeman killed by car bomb in Samarra

According to Iraqi police, a car bomb explosion in the city of Samarra has killed 10 policemen and wounded 16 others. The victims, part of a counter-terrorist squad unit, were sent to the city, 100km north of Baghdad, to protect Shi'a pilgrims during a religious celebration.

The latest attack comes nine days after a suicide bomber killed 33 Shi'a Muslims and injured 40 others at a bus terminal in the city centre. Victims of the attack were mostly Shi'a pilgrims returning home after attending a religious ceremony at the Al-Askari mosque.

The gold-domed mosque is dedicated to ninth century Imam Hassan al-Askari, making it a major Shi'a pilgrimage centre; it was mostly destroyed following a massive bombing in 2006, an attack blamed for starting the 2006-07 wave of sectarian bloodshed.

Overall violence in Iraq has dropped sharply recently, but bombings are still common. Attacks on Shia pilgrims have claimed hundreds of lives in recent months.

Sources: BBC News, RTT News , PressTV

For more news and expert analysis about Iraq, please see Iraq Focus.

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