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MONDAY, 21 APR 2014
03:12 PM Beirut time
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Car bombs against Shiite pilgrims kill 22: Iraq officials
Agence France Presse
An Iraqi policeman (R) looks at a damaged vehicle after a car bomb attack in Baghdad Dec. 16, 2013.  (REUTERS/Wissm al-Okili)
An Iraqi policeman (R) looks at a damaged vehicle after a car bomb attack in Baghdad Dec. 16, 2013. (REUTERS/Wissm al-Okili)
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BAGHDAD: Two car bombs targeting Shiite pilgrims south of the Iraqi capital killed at least 22 people on Monday, security officials said.

The twin blasts in the Rashid area also wounded at least 52 people, the sources said.

Hundreds of thousands of people, many of them on foot, make pilgrimages to the holy city of Karbala during the 40 days after the annual commemoration marking the death of the Prophet Mohammed's grandson, Imam Hussein.

The 40th day, known as Arbaeen, falls on December 23 this year.

Sunni militants including those linked to Al-Qaeda frequently target members of Iraq's Shiite majority, whom they consider to be apostates.

Violence in Iraq has reached a level this year not seen since 2008, when the country was just emerging from a period of brutal sectarian killings, raising fears the country is falling back into all-out conflict.

More people died in violence in the first eight days of this month than in the whole of last December, and over 6,500 people have been killed since the beginning of 2013, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources.

 
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