About two million Shi’ite pilgrims are in Karbala for the climax of Ashuraa rituals. Heavy security, including the arrests of three female bombers, has so far prevented any large-scale violence today, but attackers targeting pilgrims in other parts of the country were more successful. At least 14 Iraqis were killed and 17 more were wounded.
Sunnis are also finding themselves attacked this week — in the political arena. Hopes that a current plan to fold Awakening Council (Sahwa) members into regular security forces or government jobs are fading due to a lack of support from federal and provincial governments. A lack of support, however, is better than determined harassment, which has been a hallmark of relations between the central government and these Sunni security forces. As recently as September, a deadly raid and police officer demotions in Anbar province underscored their mutual suspicion.
In Baghdad, three people were wounded when a bomb exploded at a pilgrim’s tent in Karrada. Gunmen killed four people in separate attacks targeting Education Ministry, Electricity Ministry, and Sunni Endowment officials. At least five explosions, possibly taking place at an abandoned airport, were heard. Yesterday, two people were wounded in a blast on Palestine Street and three more were wounded in Fadhil. A bomb targeting police wounded a civilian in Jihad. Also, the casualty figures from a bombing in Ghazaliya rose by seven fatalities and two injuries.
About 10 bombs exploded simultaneously in Dujail, killed two pilgrims and wounded six others. A curfew is in place, and police were able to defuse several other bombs.
In Mosul, a civilian was killed in a drive-by shooting.
Two suspects were captured in Kirkuk.
Five rockets landed near U.S. Delta base outside Kut, but no casualties were reported.