[QODLink]
Middle East
Blast kills Shia pilgrims in Iraq
Officials say women and children among those killed by car bomb which targeted pilgrims near the city of Dujail.
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2011 14:03 GMT

At least eight people have been killed and 20 injured in a car bomb attack north of Baghdad, the Iraqi capital.

Officials said women and children were among those killed when the car, which was parked on the side of the road, blew up on Thursday afternoon.

Raysan Abood, an eyewitness, said the car was disguised by flags commonly flown at such commemorations and was playing mourning music, allowing it to penetrate the crowd of pilgrims.

"I saw seven dead bodies. I know them by name. They were our friends and they were delivering food and tea to the pilgrims who came from other towns," Abood said.

The blast occurred near the town of Dujail, 50km from Baghdad, on the main road to Samarra, a source in the police operations centre in Tikrit said. Eight cars were said to have been set ablaze in the explosion.

The pilgrims were heading to the golden shrine of Samarra for Friday ceremonies marking the death of the 11th imam.

Samarra, located about 100km north of the Iraqi capital, is the home of the al-Askari mosque and shrine. Two of the 12 revered Shia imams are buried there.

In February 2006, fighters attacked the al-Askari mosque, sparking waves of sectarian violence that pushed Iraq close to all-out civil war.

Dozens of people aslo died in attacks on Shia pilgrims last month near the holy city of Karbala.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.