News / Middle East

Baghdad Bombs Target Shi'ite Pilgrims, 16 Killed

Shiite pilgrims march on their way to Karbala for Arbaeen in Baghdad, Iraq, January 9, 2012
Shiite pilgrims march on their way to Karbala for Arbaeen in Baghdad, Iraq, January 9, 2012

Iraqi authorities say a series of bombings in Baghdad has killed 16 people and wounded more than 40 others, many of them Shi'ite pilgrims traveling to the holy city of Karbala for an annual ritual.

In one of Monday's attacks, a car bomb killed eight people in a western part of the Iraqi capital, while another car bomb killed six people in the northern Shi'ite district of al-Shaab. Earlier, a roadside bomb in southern Baghdad killed two people.

Authorities say the attacks appeared to target Shi'ites heading south through Baghdad on the way to Karbala for the observance of Arbaeen, the end of a 40-day mourning period for a revered Shi'ite figure, Imam Hussein.

Insurgents attacked Iraqi Shi'ites last Thursday in a wave of bombings that killed at least 72 people in Baghdad and the southern city of Nasiriyah.

The escalation of violence against Iraq's majority Shi'ites coincides with a political crisis in the country's Shi'ite-led unity government, which has seen its main Sunni-backed faction, Iraqiya, boycott the Cabinet.

Iraqiya accuses Shi'ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of monopolizing power in Shi'ite hands.  It also objects to a government arrest warrant for Iraq's Sunni Vice President, Tarek al-Hashemi, a member of Iraqiya.

Mr. Maliki has ordered Hashemi's arrest on charges of running a death squad, an allegation the vice president denies. The Iraqi prime minister issued the arrest order last month, as U.S. troops completed a pullout from Iraq, ending an eight-year military presence.

Hashemi fled to northern Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region to avoid arrest.  In an interview with VOA's Kurdish service on Monday, Hashemi said he is ready to stand trial in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, where he believes he can have a fair hearing.  Kirkuk is located outside of Iraqi Kurdistan.

Hashemi said he refuses to accept the government's demand to stand trial in Baghdad because he believes politicians will manipulate the proceedings there.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid