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Three bombs kill 28 in Baghdad

Baghdad, July 28, 2008

Three female suicide bombers killed at least 28 people and wounded 92 in Baghdad on Monday as Shi’ite pilgrims flooded into the Iraqi capital for a major religious event, police said.

Al Qaeda has increasingly used women to carry out suicide attacks because they can often evade the more stringent security checks applied to men.

Reuters television showed police, firemen and other workers washing blood and clearing debris from the street at the scene of one of blasts. A Reuters witness saw workers collecting pieces of flesh and body parts.

At least 1 million people are expected to visit the Kadhamiya shrine in northwestern Baghdad for the pilgrimage, which peaks on Tuesday. Iraqi security forces have clamped the area in tight security.

It was unclear if the victims were pilgrims, but the blasts were near the Karrada district in central Baghdad, an area many pilgrims would pass through on their way to the shrine.

Gunmen killed seven pilgrims in southern Baghdad on Sunday as they made their way to the shrine on foot. Iraq has said it expects many more people to attend this year’s pilgrimage, which marks the death of one of Shi’ite Islam’s 12 imams, because of improved security.

Violence has fallen to four-year lows, with Sunni Islamist al Qaeda mainly confined to the country’s north after being pushed from former strongholds in Baghdad and Iraq’s west.

But the US military has said it expects insurgents to attempt high-profile attacks to grab media attention and show they are still a potent force.

Security forces had deployed a team of female guards around Kadhamiya to search women. Women have carried out more than 20 suicide attacks in Iraq this year, particularly in northwestern Diyala province.

Al Qaeda has often targeted Shi’ite pilgrims taking part in religious events in Iraq. - Reuters

 




Tags: Iraq | Baghdad | pilgrimage |

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