Iraq blasts kill 13, including religious pilgrims
A series of bombings Saturday in Baghdad killed 13 people, including Iranian religious pilgrims, and dozens were injured, police said, dpa reported.
The pilgrims were killed when car bombs went off in al-Kadhimiya, northern Baghdad, near an important Shiite Muslim shrine.
Next week starts the month of Muharram, a key time for Shiites during which Ashura, a mourning period, is marked in large public ceremonies. Pilgrims often visit holy sites in the lead up to the events.
Also, an explosion in the western al-Shoala district killed at least two people. Police also said that at least nine Iraqi civilians were injured in the centre of the capital in an explosion near a house.
Roadsides bombs and targeted explosions against civilians and police were reported in other areas of the country.
The day's blasts left around 100 people injured, police said.
Iranians, who are mostly Shiite, make up the bulk of Iraq's tourists, as the country is home to many historic mosques and shrines revered by the religion's faithful.
Iraqi Shiites are also regular pilgrims to the sites, which often come under attack, in what police say are efforts by Sunni extremists to destabilize the country.