67 killed in violent attacks in Iraq

Baghdad, Dec 17: At least 67 people were killed and 138 others wounded in violent attacks across Iraq Monday, including a massive attack on Shiite pilgrims in the national capital Baghdad, police said.

At least 25 people were killed and 52 others injured when two car bombs went off simultaneously in the Rashid district of Baghdad, targeting Shiite pilgrims who were heading to the holy city of Karbala, some 110 km south of the capital city, Xinhua reported citing a police source.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the bombing, but the Al Qaeda group in Iraq is believed to be behind the deadly attack.

Earlier in the day, a wave of violent attacks across the country killed 42 people and wounded 86 others, raising fears that terrorist groups and militia could drive the country to the verge of uncontrollable sectarian violence.

Monday’s attacks came amid escalation of sectarian tension between the Sunni and Shiite communities, which has been at its highest level since the US troops pulled out from the country at the end of 2011.

Iraq is witnessing its worst eruption of violence in recent years. According to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, 8,109 Iraqis were killed in the country from January to November this year.

IANS