Extra: Car Bomb in Iraqi Shrine City of Karbala Kills Iranian Pilgrims
08 Nov 2010 12:11
Editor's note: On Monday morning, dozens of Shia pilgrims, many of them Iranian, were killed and injured by the explosion of a large car bomb in Karbala. Assessments of the death toll vary widely. Following are excerpts from various early reports.
Bomb Kills 7, Including Iranians, in Iraqi City
A car bomb on Monday ripped through a parking lot in a holy city south of Baghdad crowded with Shiite pilgrims, killing at least 7 people, Iraqi officials said.
The blast in Karbala, home to two of the world's holiest Shiite shrines, appeared to target Iranian pilgrims visiting the city, 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of the Iraqi capital, police said.
Police and hospital officials said several Iranian pilgrims were among those who died in the attack, which also wounded at least 30. They did not have exact figures for casualties among the Iranian pilgrims.
The car bomb exploded at a parking lot in the center of Karbala. The parking lot is used by Shiite pilgrims traveling between Iraq's holy sites; such parking lots have often been targeted by Sunni militants unable to get close to the holy shrines due to beefed up security.
A doctor at Karbala's al-Hussein hospital, Alaa Abdul-Zahra, confirmed the death toll.
Karbala Car Bomb Kills 10
A suicide bomber targeting Iranian pilgrims killed at least 10 people in the Iraqi shrine city of Karbala on Monday as eight months of wrangling over a new government came to a head.
The bomber drew his booby-trapped vehicle up next to a bus carrying the pilgrims from neighbouring Iran then detonated his payload, police officials said.
The explosion wounded another 38 people, most of them Iranians, hospital officials said.
"It was a suicide bomber who drove up against a bus carrying Iranian pilgrims and detonated the explosives," a police official told AFP.
The bomber struck in the northern part of Karbala through which traffic headed to the tightly guarded shrines from the capital Baghdad passes.
Some 1,500 Shiite pilgrims a day from neighbouring Iran visit the faith's shrines in Iraq, in Karbala and Najaf further south as well as in the capital.
Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said last week that a surge of violence in Iraq, including a hostage crisis by Al-Qaeda gunmen at a Baghdad church which left 46 worshippers dead, was due to the failure to form a government.
"The attacks and explosions...are due to the constitutional and political vacuum and the delay in the formation of the government, which gave the terrorists the opportunity to attack civilians," he said.
Massive Bomb Explosion Hits Karbala
A huge bomb explosion has rocked the Iraqi shrine city of Karbala, killing at least 12 people and leaving 40 others wounded.
The incident occurred on Monday morning when a car bomb detonated near a mosque in Karbala, which hosts the shrine of the third Shia imam, Imam Hussein (PBUH).
There were Iranian pilgrims among the casualties from the massive blast.
No person or group has yet claimed responsibility for the deadly bombing.
48 Killed in Iraq Car Bombing
As part of its campaign against reformists, the Iranian government blocked on Friday access to the website of former president and leading opposition figure Mohamed Khatami.
At least 48 people were killed and 16 injured in a car bombing on a crowded street near a mosque in the central Iraqi city of Karbala, police said.
The bomb exploded on Bab-Toueiraj street near the Imam Abbas mosque in Karbala, about 118 km south of Baghdad, police sources said.
Police imposed a curfew across the Shiite holy city.
Tightened security measures are taken throughout the year in the same area of Karbala to prevent attacks near the Imam Hussein shrine, one of the holiest sites in Shia Islam and a key pilgrimage site.