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Mon Jan 16, 2012, 12:40 PM

Suicide Bomber Kills Scores Of Shiite Pilgrims In Iraq [View all]

AFP - A suicide bomber killed 53 people in an apparent sectarian attack in southern Iraq Saturday casting a pall over the climax of a Shiite pilgrimage that draws hundreds of thousands from around the world.

The attack on Shiite devotees on the outskirts of the port city of Basra, which left 137 wounded, came with Iraq mired in a political row that has pitted the Shiite-led government against the main Sunni-backed bloc and stoked sectarian tensions less than a month after US forces completed their pullout.

The violence was the latest in a spate of attacks against Shiite pilgrims in the two weeks leading to the conclusion of Arbaeen, which marks 40 days after the Ashura anniversary commemorating the slaying of Imam Hussein, one of Shiite Islam's most revered figures, by the armies of the caliph Yazid in 680 AD.

The bombing killed 53 people and wounded 137, according to Riyadh Abdulamir, head of Basra province's health department. He said women and children were among the casualties, but did not give further details.

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http://www.france24.com/en/20120114-suicide-bomber-kills-20-shiite-pilgrims-iraq

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