Five car bombs went off around Baghdad on Sunday, killing at least six people and wounding 29, security sources said, in a seemingly coordinated series of attacks during a major religious rite.
Four exploded within the Iraqi capital itself. A car bomb in Baghdad’s northwestern district of Kadhimiya exploded near a bus carrying Iranian pilgrims, killing one and wounding seven, police and Interior Ministry sources said.
Other car bombs detonated near a hotel in Baghdad’s central Abu Nawas street, two police patrols in the southern Ilaam district and in al-Mesbah in central Baghdad, killing three people, including a policeman, and wounding 18, the sources said.
Elsewhere, a car bomb killed two people and wounded four in Taji, 20 km (12 miles) north of Baghdad, an Interior Ministry source said. A police source said it was a roadside bomb.
The government office which coordinates security in the capital said in a statement the blasts were mainly targeting pilgrims making a religious trek to the holy city of Kerbala for the annual rite of Arbain.
According to the statement read to Reuters, two members of the security forces were killed and five wounded in the Baghdad bombings.
Arbain marks the end of a 40-day mourning period for Imam Hussein, a central figure of Islam. It culminates on Tuesday.
A wave of bomb attacks on pilgrims and police last week killed at least 110 people and wounded hundreds more, posing a challenge to Iraqi security forces as U.S. troops prepare to withdraw by the end of the year.