Baghdad, Dec 20: At least 46 people were killed and 100 wounded in violent attacks in Iraq Thursday, including a wave of bombings against Shiite pilgrims, police said.
The deadliest attack occurred around noon when a suicide bomber blew up himself among a procession of Shiite pilgrims on a highway in Doura district in Baghdad, killing 17 pilgrims and wounding 35, Xinhua reported citing a police source.
In another incident, a suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest among Shiite pilgrims near Yousifiyah town, some 20 km from Baghdad, killing eight pilgrims and wounding 32, the police source said.
In a similar attack, 10 Shiite pilgrims were killed and 20 wounded when a suicide bomber targeted them Thursday evening in Latifiyah, some 25 km from Baghdad, the source added.
The pilgrims were heading to the holy Shiite city of Karbala, some 110 km from Baghdad, to observe the Arbaeen religious ritual ahead of its climax day next Tuesday. Arbaeen is the 40th day after the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, Prophet Muhammad’s grandson and the third holy figure for the Shiite Islamic sect killed in the battle of Karbala in 680 A.D., the report said.
In western Baghdad, gunmen broke into the house of a leader of government-backed Sahwa paramilitary group in Abu Ghraib area, some 25 km from Baghdad, and shot him dead along with his wife and three sons, a police source said.
In another incident, two civilians were killed and seven wounded in a roadside bomb explosion in Baghdad’s southwestern suburb of Radhwaniyah, the source said.
Meanwhile, a civilian was killed and five were wounded when a roadside bomb ripped through the town of Mshahdah, some 30 km north of Baghdad, the source added.
In northern Iraq, a police chief of Nineveh province escaped with wounds from an attack on his convoy in Mosul city, some 400 km from Baghdad, a provincial police source said, adding that one of his guards was killed in the assault.
Also in Nineveh province, a policeman was shot dead in front of his house in the town of Shora, some 40 km from Mosul, the source said. Elsewhere, another policeman was shot dead by gunmen in the city of Shirqat, some 280 km north of Baghdad, a police source said.
According to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, 8,109 Iraqis have been killed in the country from January to November this year.