Four blasts kill 17 in Iraq's Karbala | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 26, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 26, 2011

Four blasts kill 17 in Iraq's Karbala

Four successive blasts hit the Iraqi city of Karbala yesterday, killing at least 17 people and wounding dozens more outside a local government building in an attack officials blamed on al-Qaeda affiliates.
The first bomb ripped through a crowd of guards and civilians gathered in front of an office issuing ID cards and passports, and three other explosions went off shortly after as emergency services arrived to help the wounded, police said.
The blasts, three bombs in cars and explosives attached to a motorbike, tore the fronts off several homes and shops, leaving bodies among the rubble and twisted metal scattered across the street outside.
A Karbala police official said 17 people were killed. Health department officials said 45 wounded were treated in Karbala's main hospital and another 25 were sent to a hospital in the nearby city of Hilla.
Violence in Iraq has eased since the height of sectarian strife in 2006-2007, but insurgents tied to al-Qaeda and Shia militias still carry out daily attacks as US troops prepare to withdraw at the end of this year.
Kerbala, a major Shia holy city 80 km southwest of Baghdad, has often been attacked in the past by Sunni Islamist insurgents targeting Sha pilgrims who flock to the city's religious sites.

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