The Interior Ministry spokesman says a bomb attack has killed five Shi'ite pilgrims and injured 50 others in central Iraq.
Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf says the pilgrims were near the shrine of Imam Hussein in the Shi'ite holy city of Karbala when the attack occurred Thursday.
Hundreds of thousands of Shiite pilgrims are expected to visit Karbala on Monday to mark the end of 40 days of mourning that follow Ashoura, the anniversary of the seventh-century death of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson Hussein.
He was killed in a battle for the leadership of the nascent Muslim nation following Muhammad's death in 632. He's revered by Shi'ites because he is the son of Ali, the man they believe should have been the direct successor to the prophet.