At least 50 people have been killed in a new wave of deadly suicide bomb attacks in Iraq. Iraqi authorities also say more than 170 people have been wounded in the attacks. The first explosions were believed to have been set off by female suicide bombers who killed at least 28 Shiite worshipers making their way to a holy shrine in Baghdad. Elsewhere, in the northern city of Kirkuk, another suicide bomber killed at least 22. Aya Batrawy has more from our Middle East bureau in Cairo.
Monday's wave of suicide attacks makes the day one of the bloodiest Iraq has seen in a month.
Police say the first wave of bombings was believed to have been carried out by three female suicide bombers. Despite stepped up security during the Shiite pilgrimage that is now underway, the women were able to sneak in through the crowd and carry out the attack. There are expected to be at least one million people at the shrine on Tuesday.
Many of the worshipers said they will continue with the pilgrimage despite the bloody attack that killed many women and children.
But worshipper Jassim Jihad explained his resolve to go on. He said that he pays no heed to bombings and death. He is going to visit the holy Shrine of Iman Kadim, one of Shiite Islam's 12 holy leaders or Imams. Jassim said he and other worshippers are believing in God.
The suicide bomb attacks underscore the continued violence in Iraq, despite a general improvement in security over the past months. There have been more than 20 female suicide attacks in Iraq this year and at least seven Shiite pilgrims were killed by gunmen during a shooting in Baghdad on Sunday.