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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.

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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.

Religious Ceremony In Iraq's Karbalai
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January 24, 2011
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

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