Iraqi officials said at least 27 people have been killed and scores were wounded in bombings targeting pilgrims preparing for Shiite Islam's most solemn holiday.
According to the AP, Police Maj. Muthana Khalid said a first bomb went off around 2 p.m. Thursday in Hillah, some 95 kilometers south of Baghdad. According to him, the second blast reported as police rushed to the scene 15 minutes later. The bombs targeted Shiite pilgrims observing Ashoura who had gathered near a bus station in downtown Hillah. At least 13 people were killed and 74 others were injured. Khalid said a provincial councilman was among those killed.
Hours later, a bomb targeting a funeral in Baghdad killed nine and wounded 33 in a predominantly Shiite neighborhood, police and hospital officials said. Also in Baghdad, another bomb killed five Shiite pilgrims and wounded 18 others on their way to Karbala, police and hospital officials said.