Updated at 11:58 p.m. EST, Jan. 30, 2007
During the final day of the holy festival of Ashura, 128 Iraqis were killed or found dead and 270 wounded in violent attacks, many directed at pilgrims. Also, two American servicemembers were reported killed in separate incidents.
U.S. military authorities reported that a Marine was killed in combat yesterday during fighting in Anbar province, and a female soldier was killed in a traffic accident in Talil on Sunday. British military locations in Basra also came under attack from katyusha rockets and mortars, but no injuries were reported.
Millions were expected to arrive in Karbala today for the final observances connected to the Ashura pilgrimage. The holiday notes several important historical events. Most importantly, it marks the martyrdom of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson. Its importance is one of the major distinctions between Sunni Muslims and the Shi’ites who observe it.
In Baghdad, at least 25 mortars fell on Adhamiya where 20 people were killed and 72 more wounded. Another mortar killed three family members and wounded nine pilgrims in the Khadimiya neighborhood where thousands had gathered to observe Ashura at a revered shrine. Also, gunmen opened fire on minibuses ferrying Shi’ite pilgrims in the Bayaa district; eight were killed and 12 wounded. A man was shot dead in a separate incident. Only eight dumped bodies were found today; usually scores of unidentified bodies, believed to belong to victims of sectarian violence, are found on a daily basis
At a mosque in Balad Ruz, a suicide bomber killed 23 worshippers and injured 57 others.
Twenty-six people were killed and 47 wounded during Ashura rituals in Mandali when a suicide bomber detonated his cargo amid a crowd of worshippers. The town lies on the Iranian border in the restive province of Diyala.
In nearby Khanquin, also on the Iranian border in Diyala province, thirteen were killed and 39 wounded when a bomb in a trash can exploded during a procession marking the Ashura holiday. Women were among the casualties.
A suicide garbage truck bomber killed 16 people and wounded 7 more at a police compound in Ramadi.
Two policemen were killed and two others wounded when a roadside bomb targeting their patrol was set off in Mosul.
And gunmen killed a teacher near Mahaweel.
Two pilgrims were killed and eight wounded in Baquba when a roadside bomb blew up. A sniper killed three people cooking a holiday meal.
In al-Abarah, gunmen killed a child and wounded five people.
Mortars injured seven people at a parade in Khan Bani Saad.
A man was killed and five others wounded when mortars fell on a procession in Abu Said.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis