News / Middle East

    23 Killed as Iraq Bombings Target Pilgrims

    Iraq explosions
    Iraq explosions
    VOA News
    Iraqi authorities said a wave of bombings across the country has killed at least 23 people in the latest apparent effort by militants to undermine confidence in the security forces.

    • A destroyed vehicle is towed from the site of a bomb attack in Baghdad's Karrada district, Iraq, December 31, 2012.
    • A resident is seen behind the broken windshield of vehicle after a bomb attack in Baghdad's Karrada district, Iraq, December 31, 2012.
    • Iraqi Federal police search Shi'ite pilgrims marching to Karbala for Arbaeen in Baghdad, Iraq, December 31, 2012.
    • Iraqi Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims walk to the holy city of Karbala to mark Arbaeen in Baghdad's Doura district, Iraq, December 31, 2012.
    • Iraqi Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims walk to the holy city of Karbala to mark Arbaeen in Baghdad's Doura district, Iraq, December 31, 2012.
    In Monday's deadliest attack, insurgents blew up several houses in the town of Musayyib, south of Baghdad, killing seven people.

    In Baghdad's Karrada district, a car bomb exploded near a group of Shi'ite pilgrims en route to the southern holy city of Karbala for a Shi'ite religious observance. That blast killed five people.

    Bombs also killed four policemen in the northern city of Kirkuk, one officer in the neighboring town of Tuz Khormato, and two people in the central town of Hillah.

    A mortar attack south of Baghdad killed one Shi'ite pilgrim, while at least three other people were killed elsewhere in other attacks.

    No group claimed responsibility.

    But minority Sunni militants have targeted majority Shi'ite pilgrims frequently. Those militants also appear to be exploiting sectarian tensions in the ruling coalition of Shi'ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who is under political fire.

    Sunni protesters have held more than a week of anti-government protests in the western province of Anbar, demanding an end to what they see as Mr. Maliki's marginalization of their community and its representatives in his Shi'ite-led coalition.

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

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