A female suicide bomber killed at least 35 Iraqi pilgrims on the way to a religious festival today, reports CNN. Another 45 were wounded. The victims, mainly women and children, were in the town of Mussayib, about 40 miles south of Baghdad. Hundreds of thousands of Shia pilgrims are currently en route to Karbala for Arbaeen, a holy event for Shia Muslims.
Arbaeen marks the end of a 40-day period of mourning for Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed and the major figure (after Mohammed) for Shia Islam. The holiday has typically been a major target for attacks, and 30,000 Iraqi security forces troops are deployed around Karbala to protect the millions of expected pilgrims.