A suicide bomber driving a car near a group of Shi’ite Muslim pilgrims outside of Baghdad exploded Saturday in an attack that killed at least 17 people and wounded nearly 40 more, according to police.
Police officials at the scene said the bomb attack targeted the pilgrims walking into Baghdad’s holy Kadhimiyah shrine, but other officials said the bomber was targeting a nearby open-air market. It was not immediately clear which of the two accounts were accurate.
No one immediately took credit for the bombing, but Islamic State has claimed responsibility for similar attacks in that past that have targeted Shi’ite pilgrims near Baghdad.
Each year the shrine pays homage to 8th-century Imam Moussa al-Kadhim, the seventh of 12 imams revered in Shi’ite Islam. In recent years, the event has drawn thousands of pilgrims to the Iraqi capital.
Last year’s pilgrimage was similarly scarred by terrorist attacks, which left at least 13 people dead.
In the past month, more than 40 civilians have been killed in bombings across Baghdad.