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Car Bombs Targeting Shi'ite Pilgrims Kill 18 In Iraq


Residents wheel a stretcher carrying a wounded woman after a bomb attack targeted Shi'ite pilgrims commemorating a religious ceremony in Karbala.

Residents wheel a stretcher carrying a wounded woman after a bomb attack targeted Shi'ite pilgrims commemorating a religious ceremony in Karbala.

At least 18 people were killed today in two car bomb explosions in Iraq's holy city of Karbala as crowds gathered for a religious ritual.

The first attack occurred in the morning in a parking lot near busloads of pilgrims on the eastern outskirts of Karbala, 90 kilometers south of Baghdad.

Six pilgrims were killed in that attack. There is a vehicle ban in Karbala for the holy period so pilgrims are dropped off at parking lots and walk in.

A second car bomb, hours later, struck pilgrims on the southern edge of the city, killing at least 12 people.

Today's attacks followed a triple suicide bombing last week near Karbala that killed 56 -- most of them Shi'ite pilgrims.

Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims are in Karbala for ceremonies marking the end of Arbaeen, a mourning period to observe the seventh century death of the Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson.

compiled from agency reports

WATCH: Hundreds of thousands of Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims from Iraq, Iran, and other Shi'ite communities arrived in Iraq's holy city of Karbala for ceremonies marking the end of Arbaeen, a mourning period to observe the 7th-century death of the Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson. The ceremony has been regularly targeted by Sunni Islamist Al-Qaeda and other militants since the 2003 fall of Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein.


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