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UPDATED: 19:44, January 30, 2007
Four Shiite pilgrims killed during Ashura ceremony in Baghdad
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Gunmen opened fire on two buses carrying Shiite mourners of Ashura ceremony in a southern Baghdad neighborhood on Tuesday, killing four people and wounding six others, a well-informed police source said.

"Unidentified armed men opened fire on two buses carrying Shiite pilgrims in the Baiyaa neighborhood, killing four of them and wounding six others," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

A series of attacks targeted Shiite pilgrims performing rituals of Ashura, the holiest day on the Shiite Islamic calendar, which is a commemoration of the 7th-century death of Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

Earlier in the day, some 11 Shiite pilgrims were killed and 38 others wounded in a bomb blast during a gathering in a town northeast of Baghdad to mark the Shiite Ashura religious festival, local provincial police source said.

"A homemade bomb went off at about 10:30 a.m. (0730 GMT) among a Shiite gathering in downtown of Khanaqin, killing 11 of them and wounding 38 others," said the source from the media office of Diyala province where the town located.

The explosion rocked the center of Khanaqin, a town in the restive province of Diyala near the Iranian border, which is ethnically and religiously mixed with a population of Kurds, Sunni Arabs and Shiites.

Source: Xinhua

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