Karbala blast kills many

A bomb has exploded near the office of a senior Shia cleric in the Iraqi city of Karbala, killing 12 people and wounding 40, Aljazeera reported.

    Al-Karbalai's office is near the shrine of Imam Hussein

    One of the wounded was Shaikh Abd al-Mahdi al-Karbalai, a cleric regarded as close to Ayat Allah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq's most influential Shia leader.

     

    Hospital sources said al-Karbalai, near whose office the blast occurred, had been hit in the legs and was receiving treatment.

       

    The attack on Wednesday came as campaigning began for Iraq's 30 January elections.

     

    Motive

       

    One of the groups contesting the poll is a list of mainly Shia candidates backed by al-Sistani, but it was not immediately clear if there was any political motive for the bombing.

       

    No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

      

    At least four of those killed worked as guards in al-Karbalai's office, hospital sources said. The wounded were mostly office staff and passers-by.

        

    The office is in the centre of Karbala, close to the shrine of Imam Hussein, one of the holiest sites in Shia Islam.

     

    It was the first major attack in the city after a period of calm following clashes that erupted between US-led forces and supporters of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Thou Shalt Not Kill: Israel's Hilltop Youth

    Thou Shalt Not Kill: Israel's Hilltop Youth

    Meet the hardline group willing to do anything, including going against their government, to claim land for Israel.