The attack took place around noon when a suicide bomber blew up his explosives-laden vest in a procession of Shia pilgrims at a village near the city of Sa'diyah, some 120 km northeast of Iraq's capital Baghdad, a provincial police source said on condition of anonymity.

The pilgrims were observing Ashura commemoration rituals that mark the death of Imam Hussein, one of the 12 most revered Imams of the Shias, who was killed in 680 AD and buried in Karbala, some 110 km south of Baghdad.

Insurgents frequently attack Shia pilgrims in attempts to provoke sectarian strife in the violence-driven country. Iraq is witnessing its worst eruption of violence in recent years.

According to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, almost 7,000 Iraqis were killed and over 16,000 others injured from January to October this year.


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