Attacks Timed to Coincide With Major Religious Festival. A wave of fiery explosions in and around Shiite Muslim shrines in Baghdad and Karbala killed scores of Iraqis and Iranians Tuesday, turning a day of pilgrimage and worship for millions into one of the worst days of mass mourning since the end of the war in Iraq. At least six explosions hit Karbala. At least four hit Baghdad. Witnesses in both cities described horrific scenes of blood and body parts, of suffering and sorrow, and the country’s leading Shiite cleric blamed U.S. occupation forces for not providing better security. Officials of the U.S. Provisional Coalition Authority said that there were 143 people killed and many more wounded. They announced some arrests but were uncertain as to their immediate relevance to the attack. The attacks in the two cities took place nearly simultaneously Tuesday morning as tens of thousands of Shiite pilgrims from Iraq, Iran and elsewhere in the Muslim world, gathered for Ashura, the holiest day in the Shiite religious calendar. Full Story
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