15 die, 44 hurt in Iraq suicide bombings (Roundup)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

BAGHDAD - At least 15 people were killed and 44 injured Sunday in two suicide bomb attacks in Iraq.

In the western province of Anbar, 13 people were killed and 41 injured in a suicide car bomb attack near a checkpoint, security and medical sources at Ramadi general hospital said.

The explosion took place in central Ramadi, around 300 metres from the Anbar government offices. Six police officers were also killed in the attack.

“There is no doubt that Al Qaeda is behind this terrible crime which targeted innocent people,” Hekmat Zeidan, the deputy governor of Anbar province, said in a press statement.

Ramadi, some 100 km west of Baghdad, is the capital of Anbar province. The area was once an Islamist militant stronghold.

Another suicide bomber wearing an explosive belt targeted a group of Shia pilgrims in the Iraqi city of Baquba, some 60 km northeast of Baghdad. The attack killed two people and injured three, according to police sources.

The pilgrims were heading to participate in processions for Ashura, an annual day of mourning when Shia Muslims mark the death of Imam Hussein, the prophet Mohammed’s grandson, in the Battle of

Karbala in the year 680.

Shortly after, a high ranking officer escaped an assassination attempt when an explosive went off during his inspection of the bombing site.

Over a million pilgrims are expected in Karbala city, south of Baghdad, later this week for the culmination of Ashura.

Safeguarding pilgrims during major Shia festivals remains a challenge for security forces. Previous years have also seen Ashura processions attacked.

Filed under: Terrorism

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