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More Than 40 Ashura Pilgrims Killed In Iraq

Shi'ite Muslim worshippers gather in prayer at the shrine of Imam Abbas to commemorate Ashura in Karbala, south of Baghdad, on November 13.
More than 40 people were killed and scores were wounded Thursday in attacks targeting mostly Shi'ite pilgrims in Iraq.

The attacks came as Shi'a from Iraq and around the world marked Ashura, a religious festival commemorating the seventh-century death of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson.

The deadliest attack on November 14 was in the central province of Diyala, where a bomber blew himself up in the middle of a procession of Shi'a.

At least 32 people died and more than 70 were wounded.

Hundreds of thousands of Shi'ite pilgrims converged on Imam Hussein's shrine in the city of Karbala for the climax of Ashura festivities.

They have often been attacked by Sunni extremists, who consider them to be heretics.

The latest attacks come amid an upsurge in sectarian violence in Iraq.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and dpa