Dozens Die in Karbala Bombing
A suicide car bomb attack near the holy shrine of Imam Hussein (AS) in the central Iraqi city of Karbala killed at least 55 people and wounded another 70 on Saturday, a health ministry official said.
The explosion took place about 7 p.m. in a crowded commercial area near the Imam Hussein shrine as people were heading for prayers in Karbala, 80 kilometers south of Baghdad, the officials said.
"Many of the wounded are women and children," said Salim Kadhim, spokesman for the Karbala health department.
A senior police officer on condition of anonymity confirmed the attack as a suicide car bombing.
The blast erupted 200 meters from the shrine of Imam Hussein"s brother Al-Abbas (AS), the second holiest in Karbala, said Salim Kadhim, spokesman for the Karbala health department.
A car bomb exploded in the same area on April 14, killing 47 and wounding 224.
Elsewhere, US forces detained 17 suspected insurgents in raids targeting Al-Qaeda in Iraq on Saturday, the military said, a day after the Pentagon announced the capture of one of the terror network"s most senior and experienced operatives.
Denmark also announced it is sending special forces to southern Iraq in an effort to stop stepped-up attacks against Danish and British soldiers.
In Hit, (140 kilometers) west of Baghdad, Iraqi forces opened fire on a truck bomber Friday night before he reached the concrete barrier outside Police Chief Hamid Ibrahim al-Numrawi"s home, police said.
But the explosion of the vehicle, which was carrying construction materials, heavily damaged the area, they said.