Attacks against Shi’ite pilgrims stole the headlines today in Baghdad and Mosul. Perhaps even more frightening, suicide bombers also attacked government buildings and took hostages north of the capital. Overall, at least 100 people were killed and 183 more were wounded.
Even more violence is expected in the days building up to Arbaeen observances next week. The holiday, which commemorates the death of Imam Hussein, underscores the schism between Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims.
In Baghdad, a double bombing targeting Shi’ite pilgrims walking to Karbala killed 25 people and at least wounded 53 more in the Rashid neighborhood. Six people were killed and 15 more were wounded in a blast near the provincial building. A bomb in Bayaa killed six and wounded 14 more. Outside the Interior Ministry, a bomb killed five people and wounded eight more. A bomb killed four people and wounded 10 more at a market. A bomb in Nahda left four dead and 20 wounded. A bomb in Jisr Diyala wounded 25 people. Eight were wounded in a bomb in Karkh. Gunmen in New Baghdad killed a civilian. A government employee was wounded in a small arms attack in Fudhaliya.
In Mosul, militants executed 12 Shi’ite pilgrims and wounded seven more after removing them from a bus traveling between Tal Afar and Karbala. A civilian was wounded in a separate shooting.
A car bomb in Baiji announced an attack against a police station that may have been a jailbreak attempt. Five suicide bombers then took over the station. As police and special forces fought the group, they blew themselves up at separate times. At least eight policemen were killed and 10 more were wounded during the assault.
Using a similar tactic, three suicide bombers set off two car bombs as they took over the council building down the road in Tikrit. At least eight people were killed and three more were wounded. Separately, three soldiers were gunned down while guarding an oil pipeline. Over 40 hostages were liberated safely.
Two policemen were killed and five others were wounded in a suicide blast at a police checkpoint near Falluja. Gunmen killed a policeman and wounded another at a checkpoint.
Near Ana, police found the bodies of two civilians.
The bodies of two policemen were discovered near Haditha.
In Mahmoudiya, a sticky bomb killed a civilian.