Today is Arbaeen, which marks the end of the 40-day mourning period observed by Shi’ite pilgrims in honor of Hussein bin Ali, the Prophet Mohammad’s grandson. As expected, insurgents staged a major bombing against pilgrims. It alone left about 200 casualties. Overall, at least 71 people were killed and 145 more wounded. It is unknown if any foreigners were among the casualties.
Attacks on Arbaeen pilgrims continued today, presaging what could be a particularly violent week. At least 28 Iraqis were killed in the both sectarian and other attacks. Another 82 were wounded, along with 16 pilgrims from Afghanistan.
A Shi’ite militia known to have staged numerous attacks against Iraqi and U.S. targets since 2004 claims it is laying down its arms and seeking political office instead. Meanwhile, at least 10 Iraqis were killed and 31 more were wounded in new attacks. Again, pilgrims were targeted, but so was a parade honoring the anniversary of the founding of Iraq’s modern army in 1921.
Updated at 8:00 p.m. EST, January 5, 2012 Despite serious attempts to prevent attacks against Shi’ite pilgrims traveling in Iraq, bombers were still able to reach them. The worst violence took place south of Baghdad, but the capital also saw great loss of life. Overall, at least 84 people were killed and 157 more were wounded in the attacks. Although most, if not all, were Iraqis, some of the casualties could have been foreign visitors.
Over a million Shi’ite pilgrims were in the holy city of Karbala for Arbaeen observances that ended today, but as many of them now start for home, they are easy targets for violence. Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi said government efforts at securing the country during this tense time were “successful” despite a spate a recent bombings. He also called it proof that Iraq can safely host the upcoming Arab Summit. At least three Iraqis were killed and eight more were wounded in today’s attacks.
Updated at 11:51 p.m EST, Jan. 24, 2010 As Arbaeen observances culminate, the violence towards pilgrims continues. At least 29 were killed and 181 more were wounded in attacks across the country, but the deadliest occurred just outside Karbala. While most of the casualties, if not all, were Iraqi, some of the pilgrims may have been foreigners. Meanwhile, new allegations against an elite security force overseen directly by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki are surfacing.
Updated at 9:50 p.m. EST, Jan. 21, 2010 For the third day in a road, massive attacks targeting police and pilgrims have shocked Iraqis who hoped the seating of a new government would bring calm to the country. At least 61 were killed and 252 more were wounded in the violence which took place between Baquba and Karbala, including Baghdad, where many pilgrims are traveling by foot for Arbaeen observances.
The culmination of the Arbaeen pilgrimage today saw dozens more casualties among the ten million pilgrims who traveled to Karbala for the religious holiday. At least 46 Iraqis were killed and 168 more were wounded there and elsewhere. A Syrian was also killed. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki reminded U.S. Ambassador Christopher Hill not to exceed his authority in regards to a controversial elections blacklist.
At least five Iraqis were killed and one more was wounded even as Shi’ite pilgrims observe Arbaeen rituals in Karbala. Meanwhile an election blacklist thought struck down only a day ago could still be implemented. Also, Iraq wants to implement news rules on media outlets.
Updated at 8:58 p.m. EST, Feb. 3, 2009 Despite heightened security, two bombs exploded in or near the holy city of Karbala, where the blasts killed or wounded scores of Shi’ite pilgrims. Overall, at least 38 Iraqis were killed and 179 more were wounded across the country. Meanwhile, an Iraqi appeals court struck down a controversial election ban that prohibited hundreds of candidates from running in March elections. Also, the nation’s first female African-American POW has written a book describing her war experiences.