Iraq: Blasts in Shiite cities kill more than 60
A car bombing attack during a funeral ceremony Sunday in the Shiite holy city of Najaf killed at leat 49 people and injured 90, hospital officials said. The explosion rocked an area near central Najaf's Maidan Square, close to the revered Imam Ali shrine compound, as a large crowd of people gathered to watch a funeral procession for a tribal sheik pass by.
Earlier, a suicide car bomber detonated his car outside Karbala's main bus station Sunday, killing 13 people and wounding 30, a hospital official said. Police spokesman Rahman Mashawi said the attack took place at 1:30 p.m. outside an entrance to the crowded station in downtown Karbala.
Elsewhere, four people were killed by gunmen in central Baghdad on Sunday, police said, and officials from the organization running Iraq's national elections confirmed their employees were among the victims. The attack took place at about 7 a.m. in downtown Baghdad's Haifa Street, according to a police official.
Adel al-Lami, a member of the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq, said about 30 gunmen attacked a car carrying five employees working for the commission's Baghdad office, hurling hand grenades and firing with machine guns. According to the AP, three employees, including a security guard, were killed while two escaped unhurt. Witnesses said the attackers later set fire to the vehicle.
Meanwhile, two mortar rounds struck a mosque in Baghdad on Sunday, wounding four security guards, according to a religious leader associated with the mosque. The 7 a.m. attack shattered large windows in the Um al-Tuboul mosque in western Baghdad, sending up plumes of smoke. "It is a deliberate attack," said Fakhry al-Qeisi, secretary-general of the Supreme Association for Guidance and Daawa, a Salafist Sunni organization. "We do not know who is behind this act."