At least 50 people have been killed in two suicide car bombings outside the Shi'ite holy city of Karbala in southern Iraq.
Iraqi officials say both of the blasts on Thursday took place along routes used by pilgrims who were heading into Karbala for the Shi'ite religious ceremony Arbain.
At least 150 people were wounded. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Arbain marks the end of the annual mourning period for the death of the 7th century Shi'ite Imam Hussein. The event culminates Tuesday.
There has been a surge in suicide bombings in Iraq this week, some targeting Iraqi security forces. On Tuesday, a bomber blew himself up among police recruits in Tikrit, killing 50 people.
Earlier Thursday, a suicide attacker detonated a car bomb outside a police headquarters in Baquba, in central Diyala province, killing three people.
On Wednesday in Baquba, at least 12 people died when a suicide bomber detonated an ambulance outside a police training center.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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