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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
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 Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
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.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid