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Iraqi Bombings Target Police, Pilgrims


Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims gather near the shrine of Imam Abbas as they prepare to celebrate the festival of Ashura in Karbala on November 12. The Ashura celebration is a traditional target of extremist bombings.

Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims gather near the shrine of Imam Abbas as they prepare to celebrate the festival of Ashura in Karbala on November 12. The Ashura celebration is a traditional target of extremist bombings.

Nearly 20 people were killed in bomb attacks targeting Iraqi police and pilgrims on November 13.

In the town of Tikrit, north of Baghdad, a suicide bomber detonated a vehicle packed with explosives at a police checkpoint, killing at least 10 people.

In another incident, three coordinated blasts killed at least eight people in Baquba, also north of Baghdad. The bombs targeted a procession of Shi'ite worshippers walking in the direction of the shrine in the holy city of Karbala to take part in Ashura commemorations.

Shi'a are marking the 7th-century death of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson, Imam Hussein. The ritual is a yearly mourning period known as Ashura and draws hundreds of thousands of Shi'a.

They are often targeted by Sunni extremists, who consider the Shi’a to be heretics. More than 5,500 Iraqis have been killed in attacks so far this year, nearly 1,000 in October alone.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters
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