Iraqi police say at least 15 people have been killed in attacks targeting Shi'ite pilgrims today.
In the deadliest of attack, eight people were killed and more than 20 were injured in southern Baghdad by a car bomb.
It exploded near pilgrims traveling to the Iraqi city of Karbala for rites marking the end of a 40-day mourning period for the death of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.
Thousands of pilgrims are making the journey to Karbala -- many of them on foot -- for the March 9 event.
Earlier, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed outrage over the killing of at least 120 Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims in Iraq on March 6.
The UN chief described the attacks as "heinous," saying they appeared aimed at provoking sectarian strife. Ban is calling on Iraqis to show "maximum restraint."
(Retuers, AP, AFP)