Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Iraq: Deadly bomb attacks leave 30 dead

Iraqi officials say at least 30 people have been killed in a series of bomb attacks targeting Shi'a pilgrims celebrating the festival of Ashura. This has been one of the deadliest number of attacks to date. A car full of explosives blew up as a procession of pilgrims passed through the al-Nil area, north of the city of Hilla.

According to local security officials 16 people were killed, among them women and children. Later, in two separate attacks at least 11 pilgrims died when a bomb went off in the capital city of Baghdad. And in another separate incident at least eight were killed when a roadside bomb exploded near a convoy of pilgrims in the northern district of Urr, while the other three were killed in Mashtal, in the city's east.

Explosive devices were also detonated near groups of pilgrims in the centre of Hilla and in the town of Latifiya, to the north, also leaving three people dead.

The violence came a day before the commencement of the religious festival , which has been a cause of sectarian violence since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. It is estimated that almost 200 people were killed in November, some are worried that the ongoing violence will increase when more than 10,000 US troops withdraw from the country by the end of the year.

Sources: Reuters, BBC News, WSJ

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

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