Car bomb kills eight Shiite pilgrims in Iraq
At least eight people were killed in central Iraq on Monday when an explosion targeted Shiite pilgrims during a religious procession, reported dpa.
The explosive was concealed in a parked car in the city of Hilla, located some 100 kilometres south of Baghdad, security officials told dpa.
At least 30 others were injured in the explosion.
No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks. Shiite worshippers continue to be the main target of Sunni al-Qaeda terrorists.
Iraqi security forces announced last week that more than 14,000 personnel would protect Shiite Muslim pilgrims, who are marking the death of Prophet Mohamed's grandson, Imam Hussein. Safeguarding pilgrims during major Shiite festivals has been a challenge in Iraq.
The so-called Ashura festival, which had been banned for years under ousted president Saddam Hussein, was commemorated for the first time in 2004. It has been marred by bomb attacks ever since.
Though sectarian violence has dropped significantly from its 2006 peak, extremist groups have used religious holidays to perpetrate attacks and reinforce the Sunni-Shiite schism.