Baghdad: A wave of bomb attacks targeting Shia Muslim pilgrims across Iraq on Thursday killed at least 42 people and wounded 133, a news agency reported.
The deadliest attack took place in Hilla, 100 km south of the capital Baghdad, when a car bomb went off near a restaurant serving food to the pilgrims, officials said. A few minutes later, another car bomb detonated while civilians and Iraqi security forces gathered at the scene.
The blasts killed a total of 26 people and wounded 80 at the restaurant, police said. Meanwhile, another attack took place in the holy Shia city of Karbala, 110 km south of Baghdad, when a booby-trapped car detonated near pilgrims at the eastern entrance of the city, killing eight people and wounding 22. Iraqi security forces blocked roads leading to central Karbala where the shrine of Imam Hussein, one of the 12 most revered Imams of the Shias, is located.
In the western province of Anbar, a suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest blew him up among soldiers and their vehicles who had gathered to collect salaries at a branch of the government-owned al-Rasheed Bank in Fallujah city, 50 km west of Baghdad. Three soldiers were killed and four wounded in the blast. Two policemen guarding the bank and four pedestrians were injured.
In northern Iraq, a car bomb struck a police patrol in al-Karama area of Mosul city, 400 km north of the Iraqi capital, killing a policeman and a civilian and wounding four people. The blast destroyed a police vehicle and several civilian cars.
The fifth car bomb of the day exploded near a restaurant in Basmaiyah area, just southeast of Baghdad, killing two people and wounding 11, an interior ministry official told. Two roadside bomb explosions ripped through Taji area, 20 km north of Baghdad, killing a civilian and injuring six, the official said.