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Iraq Car Bombs Target Shi'ite Pilgrims

  • VOA News

Residents gather at the site of a bomb attack in Baghdad June 16, 2012.

Residents gather at the site of a bomb attack in Baghdad June 16, 2012.

Two car bombs in Baghdad scattered body parts and turned vehicles into burned-out shells, killing 26 in the latest in a wave of attacks targeting Shi'ite pilgrims.

The blasts struck the city's Shula and Kadimiyah neighborhoods Saturday, just a few kilometers from a shrine to revered Imam Moussa al-Kadhim, a great-grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

Haider Ghareeb, who saw the explosions, says pilgrims who finish their visit usually go to get a lift from a park where a number of cars are gathered.

"The blast took place here and when we we arrived we found scattered bodies,'' he said. "What was the reason? What did they do? They are only pilgrims."

Officials said at least 60 were injured.

Saturday was the final day of an annual Shi'ite Muslim religious commemoration, and the bombings were the latest in a series of deadly attacks in Iraq this past week.

Car bombings on Wednesday, at the start of the Shi'ite pilgrimage, killed 72 people and wounded nearly 260.

A group that monitors militant web sites - the U.S.-based SITE Intelligence Group - said Saturday the al-Qaida affiliate in Iraq claimed responsibility for the earlier attacks. SITE said the militant group praised the attacks as a "blessed Wednesday invasion" against the Iraqi government.
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