Iraq: Shiite pilgrims under attack as handicapped man blows himself up
A roadside bomb killed three Shiite pilgrims Monday in the outskirts of Baghdad, while the death toll from a suicide bombing targeting pilgrims resting in a tent on Sunday climbed to 56, authorities said. According to the AP, the suicide bomber targeted travelers enjoying tea and refreshments in a tent near Iskandariyah, 30 miles south of Baghdad.
Sunday's blast killed at least 56 people and injured 68, according to police and Dr. Mahmoud Abdul-Rida, director of the Babil health department.
Monday's attack, meanwhile, also injured 15, said a police official. The U.S. embassy in Baghdad and U.S. military forces issued a joint statement Monday condemning the attacks. "Those killed and wounded in yesterday's barbaric attacks in Baghdad and Iskandariyah were innocent citizens participating in an important religious commemoration," it said.
"This indiscriminate violence further reflects the nature of this enemy who will target even those practicing their religion in an effort to re-ignite sectarian strife in Iraq."
In a separate attack on Monday, a handicapped man in a wheel chair wearing an explosives vest blew himself up inside a police building in the central city of Samarra, killing three policemen, including a general, officials told AFP. The bomber came to the building to meet Brigadier General Abdul Jabbar Saleh Rabia, the deputy commander for the security of Samarra, Iraqi security officials said.
A security official from Samarra said the bomber was allowed to enter the building without being searched as he was handicapped. "The brigadier general came down from the second floor of the building to meet him. As he came close, the bomber who was in the wheel chair blew himself up and killed General Rabia," the official said.
In the northern city of Mosul, three people from the same family including a child, and four women were injured in a blast. Also in Mosul, four policemen were killed in an attack by gunmen on their patrol in the eastern Muarid district, VOI reported.