Pilgrims among Iraq bomb victims
Published 31/12/2012 | 09:30
Bombings across Iraq have killed 15 people and wounded another 24 - the latest apparent attacks by militants aimed at undermining the government.
The deadliest was in the town of Musayyib where militants planted bombs around two houses, one belonging to a police officer. Two women and two children aged 11 and 14 years old along with three men were killed, while three others were wounded.
In the city of Hillah a parked car bomb exploded in a busy street where local government offices are located, killing three people and wounding 21, among them Shiite pilgrims going to the nearby city of Karbala to mark the 7th century death of the Prophet Mohammed's grandson, Imam Hussein.
Four policemen were killed in the northern city of Kirkuk while trying to defuse a bomb the centre of the city. Another policeman was killed when a bomb hit a convoy in the town of Tuz Khormato.
Although violence has ebbed since the height of the insurgency in the past, some groups presumed to be primarily Sunni extremists are still able to launch lethal attacks nationwide against government officials or civilians.
Shiite pilgrims are one of their favourite targets. Each year, hundreds of thousands converge on Karbala where the Imam Hussein is buried. Many travel on foot and the mass gatherings are frequently attacked despite tight security.