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5 Iranian Pilgrims Killed by Gunmen in Iraq

By VOA News

Iraqi police say gunmen killed five Iranian pilgrims Wednesday, as they journeyed to Shi'ite holy sites in Iraq.

Police said gunmen opened fire on buses traveling near the city of Baquba. The attack occurred on a highway that connects the Iranian border to Baghdad.

Some of the holiest Shi'ite sites are located in Iraq.
This file photo shows pilgrims at the shrine of Imam Hossesin in Karbala.

Iraq's Interior Ministry forces have been protecting pilgrim buses after an April attack at a roadside restaurant killed 57 people. Most of the murdered were Iranian pilgrims.

In violence Tuesday, police said a series of bombings in and around Baghdad killed at least 15 people and wounded more than 100 others. Three of those blasts occurred in the Shi'ite neighborhood of Sadr City.

The deadliest attack involved a series of bombings at a popular market in Husseiniya, just north of the capital that killed five people and wounded almost 30 others.

Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman General Abdul Karim Khalaf told VOA that Iraqi forces can handle their security duties without the assistance of the U.S. combat troops that withdrew from the cities on June 30.

There have been multiple deadly attacks in Iraqi cities in the weeks leading up to, and following, the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

... Payvand News - 07/22/09 ... --

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