Thursday, July 8, 2010

At least 60 dead in attacks on Shia pilgrims in Baghdad

Updated Thurdsday, 2.00 pm
At least 60 people have been killed in attacks across the Iraqi capital, including 32 in a suicide bombing that targeted pilgrims commemorating a revered Shia saint, Iraqi police say. Since Tuesday also over 300 peole have been wounded.

Iraqi officials said two blasts on Thursday, the latest in a string of bombings in Iraqi capital, killed seven people, pushing the death toll in the recent attacks to 60.One bomb in the central Bab al-Muazam neighbourhood killed four people and wounded 46, while a second bomb in the southeastern Mashtal district killed three and wounded 31.
 The deadliest attack occurred on Wednesday in northern Baghdad's predominantly Sunni Muslim neighbourhood of Adhamiya. A suicide bomber killed 32 people and wounded more than 90 as Shia Muslim pilgrims were about to cross a bridge leading to the shrine where Moussa Kadhim, a revered imam, is buried. The attack took place near the bridge where 900 people died in 2005 in a stampede sparked by a rumour that a suicide bomber was about to strike.
 Earlier on Wednesday, police said an improvised explosive device [IED] had exploded in Baghdad's southeastern Jadida district, followed by another one in Futhaliya district, in the east of the city, killing five Shia pilgrims and wounding 36 others. But hundreds of thousands of pilgrims - defying the attacks - remain in the Iraqi capital for Thursday's culmination of the religious festival.
 The mausoleum of imam Moussa Kadhim has previously been targeted by bombers. In April  2009, two female suicide bombers blew themselves up near the shrine, killing 65 people, including 20 Iranian pilgrims, and wounding 120 others. The Twelver Shiites worship 12 descendants and followers of the profet Mohammed  Imam Moussa Kadhim is the seventh of them.
The attacks offer a clear indication of the determination of some circles to exploit Iraq's political vacuum and destabilise the country as US troops head home. Iraq has been without a new government since the March 7 election, which produced no clear winner. 

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