Iraq Bomber Kills 27 Shiite Pilgrims on Holy Day
Suicide attack strikes clogged streets of Karbala
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 5, 2010 5:56 AM CST
Shiite pilgrims beat themselves during the festival of Arbaeen, one of the holiest days in their religious calendar in the holy city of Karbala, Iraq, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010.    (Hadi Mizban)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – A suicide attacker detonated a car bomb today alongside a crowd of Shiite pilgrims walking to a holy city south of Baghdad, killing at least 27 people and wounding 60. The blast occurred about noon just east of one of three main entrances to Karbala. Shiite pilgrims have been targeted by several bombings in recent days, and today's attack struck during the culmination of a pilgrimage in which hundreds of thousands walked to the city to mark a Shiite holy day.

Two mortar rounds hit the same area after the car bomb exploded, an official said, adding that the death toll was likely to rise. The attack came at the height of the pilgrimage when the roads around Karbala, 50 miles south of Baghdad, were clogged with people. The Arbaeen holy day marks the end of 40 days of mourning after the anniversary of the death of Imam Hussein, a revered Shiite figure.