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

Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community 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.
Ukraine Accuses Russia of Territorial Incursionsi
X
Zlatica Hoke
August 28, 2014 4:07 AM
Ukraine says a key border town (Novoazovsk) and surrounding areas of in southeastern Ukraine have fallen under the control of Russia's military. President Poroshenko says "Russian troops have actually been brought into Ukraine." Despite repeated denials from Moscow, Ukraine accuses the Kremlin of providing weapons and fighters to separatists in eastern Ukraine, toward the Russian leadership's alleged goal of annexing that strategic territory. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Accuses Russia of Territorial Incursions

Ukraine says a key border town (Novoazovsk) and surrounding areas of in southeastern Ukraine have fallen under the control of Russia's military. President Poroshenko says "Russian troops have actually been brought into Ukraine." Despite repeated denials from Moscow, Ukraine accuses the Kremlin of providing weapons and fighters to separatists in eastern Ukraine, toward the Russian leadership's alleged goal of annexing that strategic territory. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid