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36 killed in bomb attack on Shiite pilgrims in S Iraq

01-05-2012 22:10 BJT

BAGHDAD, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- Up to 36 people were killed and 72 injured in a suicide bomb attack targeted Shiite pilgrims in southern Iraq on Thursday, a local police source said.

"Our latest report put the toll at 36 killed and 72 wounded by the bomb attack which appeared to be committed by a suicide bomber, " the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The attack occurred in the afternoon near the town of al- Batthaa, west of Dhi Qar's provincial capital city of Nassriyah, some 375 km south of Baghdad, when a suicide bomber blew up his explosive vest near a procession of Shiite pilgrims, the source said.

An Iraqi army officer and two soldiers who were guarding the procession were among the killed, the source added.

The pilgrims were walking on a main road leading to the holy Shiite city of Karbala, some 110 km south of Baghdad, to observe the Arbaeen religious ritual, the climax of which will take place on Jan. 13.

Arbaeen marks the end of the 40-day mourning for Imam Hussein, Muhammad's grandson who was killed at the battle of Karbala in 680 A.D.

Earlier in the day, bomb attacks in Baghdad's Shiite districts killed a total of 24 people and wounded some 66 others, an Iraqi Interior Ministry source said.

Many Iraqis are worried about a resurgence of ethnic and sectarian violence that once nearly tore the country apart few years ago.


Editor:Zhang Dan |Source: Xinhua

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