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At least 4 Shiite pilgrims killed in car bomb attack south of Baghdad


10:54, December 06, 2011

BAGHDAD, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Four Shiite pilgrims were killed and 33 others wounded in two separate blasts during a major Shiite ritual in a city south of Baghdad on Monday, an Interior Ministry source told Xinhua.

"The latest reports said that four people were killed and 30 wounded in the car bomb explosion north of Babil's provincial capital city of Hilla," the source said on condition of anonymity.

The attack occurred in the town of al-Neel, just north of Hilla, some 100 km south of Baghdad, when a booby trapped car detonated near a procession of a Shiite pilgrims, the source said.

Earlier, the source put the toll at four killed and ten wounded.

A second blast occurred in al-Akrameen district in central Hilla when a roadside bomb went off near another procession of Shiite pilgrims, wounding three of them, the source said.

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

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

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


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