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  • 2/6/2010

Karbala blast leaves 42 killed, hundreds wounded


At least 42 people have been killed and 150 others wounded after a bomb went off in the Iraqi holy city of Karbala amid tight security for a huge religious procession.

Initial reports said explosion took place after a bomb planted in a civilian car went off in al-Shibanat area, four kilometers east of Karbala on Friday, also leaving three Iraqi army vehicles destroyed.

Provincial governor Amalheddin al-Hir, however, said a mortar round had been launched from fields northeast of the shrine city while local Health Ministry officials put the death toll from the event at 42 people killed and 150 wounded.

The blast ripped through pilgrims who were leaving the city, home to third Shia Imam Hussein's holy shrine, as millions of Muslims from across the world were marking the 40th day after Imam Hussein's martyrdom anniversary.

Mourning ceremonies are being held in more than a dozen countries - including Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan and Afghanistan to mark Arbaeen, the 40th day after the martyrdom anniversary of the prophet's grandson Imam Hussein.

The observance was held amid highly tightened security in Karbala where around 30,000 police and soldiers were on duty in the holy city, following the recent spate of attacks.

On Wednesday, a bomb planted on a parked motorcycle exploded on the outskirts of Karbala, killing at least 23 Shia pilgrims and leaving more than 147 others wounded.

The bomb exploded at about 11 a.m. (0800 GMT) in an area known as Ibrahimia, near the east entrance into Karbala, about 80 km (50 miles) south of the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

In another incident on Monday, at least 41 people were killed in northeast Baghdad when a bomb was detonated in a crowd of devout Shia pilgrims heading to Karbala.

Source: presstv.ir

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