Thousands of Shi’ite pilgrims are making their way, often on foot, to Karbala for Ashura observances, the first with Islamic State militants controlling large swathes of Iraq. Although the holiday peaks on Tuesday, bombers have already struck. At least 197 were killed and 104 more were wounded on Sunday.
Canada launched its first airstrikes as part of the international coalition on Sunday. Two jets bombed targets near Falluja before returning to base in Kuwait. Eleven militants were killed, possibly in one of those strikes. Meanwhile, Iraqi forces and U.S. advisors are planning a spring offensive that will require the training of over 20,000 new soldiers.
The number of Albu Nimr tribe members executed has been revised upward again to 322 killed. That’s 18 more dead than previously counted in this column. It is unclear if that number includes the 62 who were executed near Thar Thar lake.
In Baghdad, a car bomb targeting pilgrims at a refreshments tent in Ilam killed 13 and wounded 29 more. A bomb at a checkpoint killed five and wounded 17 more. One person was killed and five more were wounded in another bombing. Three people were killed and 10 were wounded in a bombing on a funeral procession in Saidiya. Gunmen killed a man in Jisr Diyala.
Six people were killed and 19 were wounded by a bomb in Sadr City that also targeted a tent catering to pilgrims. Many of these refreshment tents are set up on roadsides in order to help pilgrims, who are mostly walking, travel comfortably to Karbala.
In Yathrib, a combined roadside bomb and small arms attack killed 11 security members and wounded 21 more.
Three children were injured in a mortar attack on Duluiya. An airstrike killed several militants.
Security forces liberated 200 Yazidis in Sinjar and Zumer.
In Ramadi, Kilo 5, al-Po Diab, and al-Khasfah, airstrikes left 52 militants dead.
In Muqdadiya, 44 militants were killed.
Fifteen militants were killed in Askari.
An airstrike in Badush killed 12 militants.
Four militants were killed in Baiji.