Shia pilgrimage in Iraq marred by sectarian violence
On June 16, 2012 At 8:47 pm
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At least 32 people were killed and many more injured in two car bombs that rocked Iraq's capital, Baghdad, today.
The blasts occurred in the Kadhimiya district, along a route used by pilgrims marking the anniversary of the death of Shia Imam Moussa al-Kadhim, a great-grandson of the Prophet Mohammad. It was the third coordinated attack this week.
Police say that a man pretending to be a taxi driver picked up a group of pilgrims and then detonated the car at a parking spot near Kadhimiya, the site of the shrine. The site is a popular destination for the pilgrims, who hope to get a ride after visiting the shrine. There, another car bomb detonated at about the same time, killing dozens of people.
Members of the Shia community and security forces were the targets of attacks across the country on Wednesday and several were killed. The Islamic State of Iraq, connected to Al Qaeda, took responsibility for those attacks.
Since American troops left the country in December, attacks against Iraqi Shia and security forces have continued. Al Qaeda is believed to be trying to start sectarian violence to plunge the country into civil war. So far, the Shia community has resisted retaliation.