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February 5th, 2010 - Mortar Bomb Kills 27, Wounds 56 in Iraq’s Karbala

News article from Agence France Presse

News article from the Press Association

Summary of Civilian Killings during Iraq II War

Mortar Bomb Kills 27, Wounds 56 in Iraq’s Karbala


From Agence France Presse

February 5, 2010


Karbala, Iraq - A mortar bomb killed at least 27 people and wounded dozens on Friday three kilometres (two miles) east of the central Iraqi shrine city of Karbala, governor Amalheddin al-Hir told AFP.


"A mortar round was launched from fields northeast of the city," he said.


"Twenty-seven people were killed and 56 wounded. I accuse Al-Qaeda who are being supported by the Baath party," Hir added, referring to the outlawed political movement of executed dictator Saddam Hussein.


Police Major Alaa Abbas earlier told AFP that the mortar round struck Shiite pilgrims leaving the city after attending a major mourning ceremony.


More than one million pilgrims thronged Karbala, 110 kilometres south of Baghdad, for the climax of Arbaeen, with thousands of security forces on high alert for suicide attacks.


Arbaeen marks 40 days after the Ashura anniversary commemorating the slaying of Imam Hussein, one of Shiite Islam's most revered figures, by the armies of the Sunni caliph Yazid in 680 AD.


Dozens of pilgrims have been killed in recent days as they made their way to Karbala on foot to make the rituals.


Copyright © 2010 AFP.


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27 killed in Iraq suicide attack


From the Press Association

February 5, 2010


A suicide attacker detonated a car bomb alongside a crowd of Shia pilgrims, killing at least 27 people and wounding more than 70, Iraqi police officials said.


It was the third deadly bombing this week in the ceremony in which hundreds of thousands of Shia Muslims have been converging on Karbala, a holy city south of Baghdad.


This week's violence took place as Iraqi politicians argued over an effort to bar hundreds of candidates from running in the March 7 parliamentary elections because of suspected ties to Saddam Hussein's regime.


Two mortar rounds hit the same area after the car bomb exploded, an official said, adding that the death toll was likely to rise.


The attack came at the height of the pilgrimage when roads around Karbala, 50 miles south of Baghdad, were clogged with people trying to reach the city, another police official said.


The crowds made it difficult for ambulances to get to the wounded, he said.


The attack in Karbala was just a short distance from where a motorcycle bomb exploded two days earlier, killing dozens. On Monday, a female suicide bomber killed at least 54 pilgrims in an attack just north of Baghdad.


Iraqi security forces have increased protection for pilgrims but face huge challenges trying to find a single attacker in the crowds.


Copyright © 2010 The Press Association.


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