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Iraq attacks kill at least 17 people

Bombing of Shia pilgrims in Karbala kills six people and wounds 15 others, while at least three dead in market blast.

Last updated: 15 Dec 2013 01:40
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More than 8,000 people have been killed in Iraq this year, as violence has reached a level not seen since 2008 [AFP]

Attacks including a bombing of Shia pilgrims have killed at least 17 people in Iraq, officials said.

The deadliest of the attacks took place in Baghdad's mainly Shia district of Bayaa on Saturday, when a car bomb blew up near a gathering of pilgrims, killing seven people and wounding another 16, police and medics said.

Police said earlier at least three people were killed and 11 others wounded when a bomb exploded at an outdoor market in Baghdad's southeastern suburb of Nahrawan.

Two people were killed and seven others were wounded in a bomb blast inside a restaurant in the capital's north-eastern suburb of Husseiniyah, police said.

Baghdad gunmen also killed the owner of a grocery store as he was walking near his house in the neighborhood of Hurriyah.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, which came a few days before Arbae'en, a holy ritual in which Shia commemorate the death of Imam Hussein, grandson of Prophet Muhammad.

Medical officials confirmed the casualties. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak publicly.

Attacks rising

Violence has reached a level this year not seen since 2008, when Iraq was just emerging from a period of brutal sectarian killings, raising fears that the country is falling back into all-out conflict.

More than 8,000 people have been killed this year, according to the UN.

The attacks came after a series of deadly assaults on Friday.

One of the worst was in the town of Imam Wais, 65km east of Baghdad, where masked gunmen killed 18 people and injured six others working on a gas pipeline in Iraq.

 

"Three of them got out of a car and started firing on the workers inside and outside the trench," said shooting victim Ibrahem Aziz by phone from hospital.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack on the workers.

Iran signed a deal in July to build a pipeline and import gas into Iraq to fuel power plants in Baghdad and Diyala province, where the attack took place.

Officials said the workers were employed by an Iranian oil and gas company, but did not give its name. The three other people killed were Iraqis and eight workers were wounded, medical and local officials said.

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Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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