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Attacks on Shi'ites Kill at Least 24 in Baghdad

Four bomb attacks in Baghdad have killed at least 24 people. The blasts mainly targeted Shi'ite worshippers as they marked the Shi'ite holy day of Ashura.

The first suicide bombing of the day was also the deadliest. A man wearing an explosives-laden vest blew himself up near a Shi'ite mosque in the Dora neighborhood in southern Baghdad. That attack alone is reported to have killed at least 15 people.

In the second attack, two suicide bombers targeted another Shi'ite mosque known as al-Bayaa, in western Baghdad. The Iraqi police and the U.S. military say Iraqi guards outside the mosque identified one of the bombers before he got to the building and shot him. His suicide vest detonated anyway, and a military statement says the second bomber blew himself up about 100 meters away shortly afterward.

The military says casualties could have been much higher if either bomber had made it into the mosque.

A third explosion rocked a procession of worshippers marking the Ashura festival. This is a holy month for Shi'ite Muslims, and Ashura reaches its height on Saturday, when Shi'ites mark the anniversary of the death of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed.

Last year during Ashura commemorations, several massive bombs tore through crowds of Shi'ite worshippers in Baghdad and the holy city of Karbala, killing at least 170 people.

The fourth attack of the day Friday appeared to target an Iraqi security forces checkpoint in the largely Sunni neighborhood of Adhimiya.

The series of bombings wounded scores of people and left Baghdad's main hospital overflowing. Panicked Iraqis searched the wards looking for their relatives.

In other news Friday, the Indonesian government said two Indonesian television journalists have disappeared near the flashpoint town of Ramadi, west of Baghdad, but it stopped short of saying they had been kidnapped. Apparently the pair, a female reporter and male cameraman, were last heard from on Tuesday.