Updated at 11:45 p.m. EDT, Aug. 8, 2009
Over three million Shi’ite pilgrims peacefully visited Karbala to observe the birthday of the 12th Imam, a ninth century religious leader. An increase in security there may have spared those pilgrims in Karbala, but attacks targeting Shi’ites killed dozens across central and northern Iraq. Overall, at least 61 Iraqis were killed and 338 more were wounded throughout the country. Also, an Iranian passport was discovered next to a burnt corpse.
At least 38 people were killed and as many as 267 were wounded in a bomb blast outside a Shi’ite Turkmen mosque north of Mosul in Rashidiyah/Shreikhan. The blast occurred as worshippers were leaving Friday prayers. The toll could rise if more bodies are found under the rubble.
In Baghdad, two near simultaneous blasts in the areas of Shabb stadium and Zayouna neighborhood killed three pilgrims and wounded 13 more. Gunmen killed a shopkeeper in Bayaa. A bomb in Habbibiya, which borders Sadr City, left one dead and five wounded. Six people were killed and 30 more were wounded in an evening attack at a Khadraa neigbhorhood market.
A bomb blasted a bus returning Shi’ite pilgrims to Sadr City. Four people were killed and 15 were wounded.
In Mosul, a dumped body was found. Two policemen were shot dead in the Nimrod district. Gunmen killed a policeman at a busy market in Bab al-Toub. Meanwhile, Kurdish politicians are again threatening to form a parallel government in the province.
Near the Darbendikhan Dam in Suleimaniyah, gunmen killed one traffic policeman and wounded two others in an attack on a checkpoint.
Gunmen in Baquba killed a shopowner and wounded two others. The dead man ran a money exchange shop. Elsewhere, gunmen attacked a group of Awakening Council members, killing one and injuring four.
In Kirkuk, a man’s body was discovered at a graveyard. The body had been burned but an Iranian passport was found with it.
Four wanted men, suspected of membership in the Islamic State in Iraq, were arrested at a Pepsi factory.