Death toll in Iraq blast rises to 36

February 13, 2011 18:57


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BAGHDAD — The death toll for Saturday's suicide bombing on a bus carrying Shi'ite pilgrims rose to 36, Iraqi officials said Sunday.

The attack was one of the deadliest acts of violence against the Iraq's majority Muslim sect this year.

The attack targeted pilgrims returning from a religious ceremony at the al-Askari mosque in the former insurgent stronghold of Samarra, north of Baghdad. The violence highlighted renewed efforts this year by insurgents to incite sectarian violence after a lull in attacks.

Police and hospital officials said 64 people were wounded in the suicide bombing that came after ceremonies there marking the death of a revered ninth century religious figure buried there.

Al-Askari mosque in Samarra, 60 miles (95 kilometers) north of Baghdad, has been a flashpoint for bloodshed in the past.

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