Roadside bombs struck two minibuses filled with Shiite pilgrims returning to Baghdad on Monday, killing eight people and injuring 24 others, officials said. The first bomb rocked a minibus pulling into a busy square in the Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City in Baghdad, killing four people and injuring 11 others, a police official said.
According to the AP, the driver said his minibus was filled with pilgrims returning from the Shiite holy city of Karbala, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of the capital.
The second minibus coming from Karbala was attacked in the Shiite neighborhood of al-Kamaliya in Baghdad, killing four people and wounding 13 others, said the police official. Medical officials confirmed the number of dead and wounded in the two attacks.
Hundreds of thousands of Shiite pilgrims converged on Karbala in recent days to celebrate the end of 40 days of mourning that follow the anniversary of the seventh-century death of one of Shiite Islam's most revered saints, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson Hussein. The Iraqi government deployed more than 30,000 security personnel to protect the pilgrims.