Tuesday, March 06, 2007

At least 90 die, 160 wounded in double suicide bombing of Shia pilgrims at Hilla

Above: In February, 2005 Hilla was also site to Iraq's deadliest bombing so far, with 115 killed. The pilgrims in today's bombing were part of more than 1.5 million Shiite pilgrims who amass each year in Karbala for Arbaeen, one the holiest days of their religious calendar, which commemorates the end of a 40-day mourning period after the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein.

HILLA, Iraq (AFP) - At least 90 Shiite pilgrims were killed and 160 wounded when two suicide attackers set off their bombs in a crowd in the central Iraqi farming town of Hilla on Tuesday, an emergency medic said.

Dr Mohammed Timini from Hilla Hospital's emergency room said: "Among the wounded, there are 50 in a critical condition. Eighty percent of the casualties are young men, but there are women and children among the dead."

A pair of attackers detonated explosive vests within metres (yards) of each other among crowds of pilgrims making their way by foot from southern Iraq to the shrine city of Karbala, police Lieutenant Karim al-Hamzawi said.

Thousands of pilgrims are heading by bus and on foot from across Iraq to attend the Arbaeen religious ceremony on Friday in Karbala, 100 kilometres (70 miles) south of Baghdad, despite threats from Sunni militants.

Read the rest at Yahoo News