At least 50 killed as Shia mark holy day

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The Independent Online

At least 50 people were killed in insurgent attacks yesterday, as Shia Muslim worshippers around the country commemorated their holiest day of the year.

At least 50 people were killed in insurgent attacks yesterday, as Shia Muslim worshippers around the country commemorated their holiest day of the year.

Insurgents carried out a steady stream of attacks using suicide bombers, mortars and gunmen, across the country. At least eight suicide bombers staged attacks in and around Baghdad alone, targeting religious gatherings and Iraqi checkpoints. The attacks came a day after at least 36 people, mostly Shia, were killed.

Yesterday's attacks, during the festival of Ashura, began before noon, when a bomber walked into a tent outside a Sunni mosque in western Baghdad and blew himself up, killing at least three people and injuring 10. About 50 people were inside the tent attending a funeral.

The attacks then shifted to the northern districts, where a suicide bomber killed two Iraqi National Guardsmen, another then blew himself up in a bus, killing one child, six adults, and injuring 10. There was a suicide attack close to the Nada Mosque and seven Shia, were killed, and 55 injured.

Gunmen holed up in a building also opened fire on a funeral procession in which mourners were carrying coffins of some of the dead killed Friday in a bombing at the capital's al-Khadimain mosque. Iraqi National Guard troops guarding the procession foiled that attack, and no casualties were reported.

The attacks came as a US Congressional delegation that includes Senator Hillary Clinton, met Iraqi government officials in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone.

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