Updated at 8:55 p.m. EST, Feb. 1, 2010
The first major bomb attack against Shi’ite pilgrims took place in northern Baghdad today, leaving scores dead or wounded. Overall, at least 56 Iraqis were killed and 142 more were wounded across the country. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims continue to make their way to Karbala for Arbaeen observances despite the attacks. Also, U.S. Amabassador to Iraq, Christopher Hill, is confident that election issues will be solved before Iraqis go to the polls in March.
In Baghdad, a female suicide bomber blew herself up among a group of female pilgrims in the Shi’ite neighborhood of Shabb. At least 54 were killed and 117 were wounded. The group was traveling to Karbala from Diyala province. She struck as fellow women were waiting to be searched by female security personnel at a rest tent. Children were among the casualties. Twelve more pilgrims were wounded in a blast in southern Baghdad. A third attack wounded four more pilgrims before the day was through.
Baghdad Operations Command is investigating 134 Iraqi servicemembers for possible links to last week’s deadly bombings in the capital; however, a device the security forces are using is also under investigation. The British banned the export of the device after its usefulness was questioned.
Four civilians were wounded in a predominantly Christian village in the disputed Hamdaniya district.
A blast in Garma left four wounded policemen.
In Mosul, gunmen wounded a civilian at a checkpoint. A bomb was defused. Eight people were arrested for allegedly firing upon the provincial governor. A high-ranking Islamic State In Iraq suspect was also detained.
Two bombs were defused, and three suspects were arrested in Fallujah.
A number of al-Qaeda suspects were detained in Karbala.
Five suspects were arrested in Basra.
A gunman who was captured in Tal Afar confessed to planting bombs in the area.
In Babel province, a man accused of recruiting suicide bombers was arrested.