Series of attacks hit Baghdad, Karbala

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Al-Akhbar Management

Published Monday, October 20, 2014

Updated at 6:12 pm (GMT +3): Scores have been killed and injured in suicide attacks and car bombings that hit the Iraqi capital Baghdad and the town of Karbala Monday, several of which have been claimed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants.

A suicide bomber detonated himself outside a Shia mosque in central Baghdad, killing at least 11 people in the second such attack in the capital in 24 hours, officials said.

"It was a suicide attack that targeted people who were just leaving Husseiniyat al-Khayrat" after midday prayers in the Sinak area, a police colonel said.

At least 26 more people were wounded, according to the officer and a medical official.

The attack comes less than a day after a suicide bomber attacked another mosque in central Baghdad, killing at least 22 people and wounding at least 36.

Baghdad has in recent days seen a rise in the number of bomb attacks, several of which have been claimed by ISIS.

Later on Monday, four car bombs exploded in the Karbala area, killing at least two people and wounding 16, police and medical sources said to AFP.

Police spokesman Colonel Ahmed al-Hasnawi said two car bombs went about one kilometre east of the old city.

He said another exploded about four kilometres south, while the fourth targeted a checkpoint to its north.

According to al-Mayadeen TV, the first three attacks in Karbala killed 13 and injured 40, and the fourth explosion lead to the death of 7 and injury of 15.

The United Nations said more than 1,110 people were killed in acts of violence across Iraq in September. According to an AFP count, around 400 have already been killed this month.

The spate of bombings has raised fears that the extremist group would seek to attack gatherings to commemorate the Shia holiday of Ashura in Karbala, which starts at the end of the week.

The event has been marred by devastating bombings in past years and on Monday militants signaled they were able to strike the city, which lies about 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of Baghdad.

The faithful who want to march to Karbala from Baghdad have to walk through an area which has been known as the "triangle of death" and where almost daily attacks are carried out.

The procession will pass close to Jurf al-Sakhr, a farmland area southwest of the capital which has been one of the deadliest front lines in Iraq since ISIS group's June offensive, which saw the militants seize large areas.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)


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