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THE UNDISTRACTED KILLING IN IRAQ GOES ON

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Amid the daily slaughter in Syria the killing in Iraq goes on undistracted. At least 40 people have been killed, on Tuesday 07/03/2012, and many wounded in bomb attacks in cities across Iraq.

A truck bombing at a market in the Iraqi city of Diwaniya killed at least 25 people. In the central city of Karbala, four people were killed when two car bombs targeting Shia pilgrims exploded (see also – Karbala 01.20.11).

There has been a spike in attacks across Iraq in recent weeks. June was the bloodiest month in the country since US troops withdrew in December. At least 237 people were killed and 603 wounded in attacks in June 2012 in Iraq.

The Diwaniya blasts took place in a market near a Shia mosque where pilgrims were gathering to make the 130km (80-mile) journey to Karbala for a religious festival, according to Reuters news agency. While at least 25 people are known to have died in the attack, Reuters news agency said the death toll could be as high as 40.

The Shia community is celebrating the Shabaniyah festival, which marks the anniversary of the birth of a key Shia imam. It reaches its peak on Friday.

It is thought the earlier blasts on the eastern outskirts of Karbala were also aimed at pilgrims. At least 30 people were injured.

There were also twin blasts in the Sunni city of Taji, the site of a military base 20km (12 miles) north of Baghdad. Three people were killed there – including a policeman, and 15 were injured, according to officials (see also -Taji 07.04.11).

There are reports of an attack in the town of Tuz Khurmatu, north of Baghdad. According to the AFP news agency, one policeman was killed.

The chairman of the Qadisiyah provincial council, Jubair al-Jabouri, blamed the Diwaniya attacks on Sunni insurgents linked to Al Qaeda.

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