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Iraq: Several killed in wave of bombings in Iraq


Explosions across Iraq have killed at least 16 people and wounded over 76 more,Monday, police report. The attacks are thought to be targeted at Shiites and government officials.

The violence struck the northern ethnically mixed provinces of Kirkuk and Diyala and south of Baghdad in Babil province, and appeared to be targeted at government officials, security forces and Shiite Muslims in the lead-up to major commemoration ceremonies.

In the deadliest attack, three women, two children and two men were killed when three houses were blown up in the town of Mussayab south of Baghdad, a local police officer and a medic said. Four others were wounded.

Iraqi officials also said a parked car bomb killed three people and wounded 21 in the city of Hillah, also south of the capital.

A police officer said Monday's explosion took place in a busy street, adding that some Shiite pilgrims were there making their way to the nearby city of Karbala to mark the 7th century death of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson, Imam Hussein.

No group has yet admitted responsibility for staging Monday's attacks, but Sunni militants regularly target Shiite pilgrims ahead of major rituals, with the Arbaeen commemoration ceremonies due in the coming days, as well as officials and security forces in a bid to destabilize the government.

In the northern city of Kirkuk, three policemen were killed and four critically wounded by a roadside bomb.

bk/rc (AP,Reuters,AFP)

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