A wave of deadly bomb attacks across Iraq have continued for a second day, with at least 22 dead in attacks on Thursday. More than 30 people are estimated to have died in yesterday’s violence.
The most bloody of Thursday’s attacks saw two car bombs explode close to the town of Dukail. The bombs targeted the path of Shi’ite pilgrims walking to the al-Askari shrine in Samarra. According to the head of the Salahuddin provincial health directorate 11 people died and a further 60 were wounded in the two blasts.
Just a few hours earlier a car bomber had hit a bus full of foreign pilgrims close to the Shi’ite holy city of Karbala, killing four people and wounding 12.
Another car bomb targeted a bus stop in Qassi, a town located 78 miles (125km) south of Baghdad, killing another five Shi’ite pilgrims on their was to Karbala and leaving another 20 injured.
The targeting of Shi’ite pilgrims and holy sites by Sunni insurgents, including al Qaeda in Iraq, is an attempt to drag the country back into the widespread sectarian violence which followed the US led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein. But Shi’ite pilgrims were no the only targets of today’s violence – in northeast Baghdad a roadside bomb killed 2 and wounded two others. This attack had apparently been targeting an army patrol, however it missed its target and struck a civilian vehicle.