8 wounded, 2 female would-be suicide bombers captured in Iraq

20:08, December 16, 2010      

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Eight people were wounded in separate bomb attacks targeting Shiite pilgrims in and north of Baghdad on Thursday, while the security forces in Iraq's eastern province of Diyala announced the capture of two women believed to have been prepared for suicide bomb attacks against Shiite pilgrims, the police said.

In Baghdad, three Shiite pilgrims were wounded when a roadside bomb detonated near a tent set up to observe a Shiite mourning ritual near Oqba Bin Nafie Intersection in Karrada district in central the capital, an interior ministry source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

In north of Baghdad, four bombs hidden in garbage cans detonated near a procession of Shiite pilgrims in the city of Dujail, some 60 km north of the capital, wounding five people, including a police officer and a policeman guarding the procession, a local police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The police also defused four more bombs at the scene, which were prepared to blow up near the passing processions of Shiite pilgrims in the city, the source said.

In Diyala, the Iraqi security forces raided two houses in northern and southern the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, arresting two women who confessed they had been prepared to carry out suicide attacks against processions of Shiite pilgrims in the city, a provincial security source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The two women are part of a cell of suicide bombers affiliated to the al-Qaida militant group in Iraq, the source said.

The Shiites in Iraq are marking the 10-day annual Ashura mourning rite, the holiest of the Shiite religious calendar, which marks the death of Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Mohammed in 680 AD.

The Shiite mourners usually gather in processions in their towns and cities before moving on foot or buses to the holy shrines in Karbala city, some 110 km south of Baghdad.

Iraqi and U.S. officials frequently blamed al-Qaida militant group and some insurgent groups for carrying out attacks against Shiite pilgrims performing communal rituals, killing and wounding hundreds of them in attempts to provoke sectarian strife in the violence-shattered country.

Violence and sporadic high-profile bomb attacks continue in Iraqi cities despite the dramatic decrease of violence over the past three years.

Source: Xinhua
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