A series of bombs on Monday killed at least 32 people in Iraq, mostly women and children, and wounded scores more. The victims were Shi'ite pilgrims celebrating Ashura, a major Shi'ite religieus festival, which commemorates the death of Prophet Mohammad's grandson Imam Hussein.
In the first attack, a car bomb blasted the end of one procession in the city of Hilla (some 100 km south of Baghdad) , killing 16 and wounding 45 others. A second attack involving two roadside bombs, killed at least six more people at another procession in Hilla and wounded 18 more, police sources said.
These kinds of attacks are still a fact of life in Iraq. Last week ten people were killed by a bomb in a market place in Khalis north of Baghdad on Thursday, and a few days earlier a suicide bomber killed 19 people in an attack on a military base. The week before that in Baghdad alone eight killed by three bombs in a market; one was killed by a mortar round; and six killed by a roadside bomb.Often double the fatalities are those left maimed.The monthly civilian death toll ebbs and flows - August 155, September 110, and the highest so far this year in October when the number killed by violence rose to 161. The attacks underscore Iraq's fragile security as the last U.S. troops withdraw from the country by the end of the year.