At least 49 people were killed and scores injured Thursday in a series of attacks in Iraq, targeting mainly Shiite Muslims, reported security officials.
Some 35 civilians died when twin blasts hit a working-class district in the city of Hilla, some 100 kilometres south of the capital Baghdad, reported the independent website Al Sumaria News, quoting Hassan Fadam, a security official.
He added that 120 were injured in the explosions, which occurred as crowds were gathering to attend Shiite commemorations for the mourning day of Ashoura.
Nine others were killed and about 30 injured when a car bomb was detonated in the centre of the holy city of Karbala, 118 kilometres south of Baghdad, said local officials.
Ashoura marks the death of Shiite Imam Hussein bin Ali, the Muslim prophet Mohammed’s grandson, who was killed in a battle more than 1400 years ago in Karbala.
Elsewhere, a suicide bomber killed three soldiers when he blew himself up in the midst of a group of army troops in the city of Fallujah, 60 kilometres west of Baghdad, said police.
A civilian and a policeman were killed in the city of Mosul, 400 kilometres north of Baghdad, where a parked car bomb exploded targeting a security patrol, said police.
Religious ceremonies and government troops have frequently been targets of bomb attacks in Iraq.
Shiite pilgrims were the main target of a series of explosions in June that killed at least 70 people.
Story first published: 29th November 2012