Bombs hit Iraq holy city during Shi'ite rite

July 16, 2011 10:13


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BAGHDAD - A bomb attached to a policeman's car blew up on Saturday in the Iraqi city of Kerbala, killing at least three people and wounding 15 others during an annual Shi'ite pilgrimage, officials said.

It was the third attack in the holy city in the last two days as Shi'ites observe the anniversary of Imam Mohammed al-Mehdi's birthday, one of the annual pilgrimages that have evolved into shows of strength for Iraq's majority Shi'ites since the fall of Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003.

The latest blast occurred near a security checkpoint in Kerbala, 80 km (50 miles) southwest of Baghdad, and most of the casualties were police officers, police and provincial council officials said.

On Friday a car bomb exploded in a garage near a hospital west of Kerbala. Police said four people were killed and 20 wounded.

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