Suicide blasts rock Iraq holy city, 50 dead

At least 50 people died in a spate of explosions across Iraq on Thursday, including 45 in twin suicide car bombs that rocked the holy city of Karbala, the third major attack in as many days.

The attacks mostly targeted pilgrims mourning day of Arbaeen, and were the latest in a series of bombings that have shattered a relative calm in Iraq following the formation of a new government last month.

In Karbala, two suicide bombers detonated vehicles packed with explosives 20 minutes apart, the head of Karbala provincial council Mohammed Hamid al-Mussawi said.

The first attack struck at Karbala’s northern outskirts at around 3:00 pm (1200 GMT), Mussawi said, with the second explosion occurring at around 3:20 pm some 15 kilometres (nine miles) south of the city.

“At least 45 people, including women and children, have been killed and 150 have been wounded,” he said.

Earlier on Thursday, a roadside bomb detonated among a crowd at the Al-Rasheed vegetable market in southern Baghdad, killing one and wounding nine, while another such blast in a central Iraqi town killed one and injured three, an interior ministry official said.