Iraq bomb attacks target Shiite pilgrims, police officer's family, killing at least 10
An Iraqi federal policeman stands guard as Shiite pilgrims march to Karbala for Arbaeen in Baghdad, Iraq, Dec. 30, 2012. The holiday marks the end of the forty day mourning period after the anniversary of the 7th century martyrdom of Imam Hussein the Prophet Muhammad's grandson. / AP
BAGHDAD Two separate bombings south of Baghdad killed 10 people and wounded another 24 on Monday, Iraqi officials said the latest apparent attacks by militants aimed at undermining security and confidence in the government.
The deadliest attack was in the town of Musayyib some 40 miles south of the capital, where militants planted bombs around two houses, one belonging to a police officer. Two women and two children aged 11 and 14, along with three men were killed, while three others were wounded in the pre-dawn blasts, a police officer said.
In the city of Hillah, a parked car bomb exploded in a busy street where local government offices are located, killing three people and wounding 21, another police officer said. He said some Shiite pilgrims were there making their way to the nearby city of Karbala to mark the 7th century death of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson, Imam Hussein.
He didn't say how many pilgrims were among the casualties. Hillah is about 60 miles south of Baghdad.
Two doctors confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.
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Although violence has ebbed since the height of the insurgency in the past, some groups presumed to be primarily Sunni extremists are still able to launch lethal attacks nationwide against government officials or civilians.
Shiite pilgrims are one of their favorite targets. Each year, hundreds of thousands converge on the southern city of Karbala where the Imam Hussein is buried. Many travel on foot and the mass gatherings are frequently attacked despite tight security.
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