July 28, 2008 Female suicide bombers kill 24 during Shia gathering in Baghdad
Times Online and agencies
Three female suicide bombers killed 24 people and wounded 73 during a Shia Muslim religious event in Baghdad on Monday. The three bombs went off in quick succession as thousands of Shia pilgrims flooded the Iraqi capital. At least a million people are expected to visit the Kadhamiya shrine in northwestern Baghdad for the pilgrimage, which peaks on Tuesday.
Al Qaeda has increasingly used women to carry out suicide attacks because they can often evade the more stringent security checks applied to men. Women have carried out more than 20 suicide attacks in Iraq this year. Reuters television showed police, firemen and other workers washing blood and clearing debris from the street at the scene of one of the blasts in Baghdad. A Reuters witness saw workers collecting pieces of flesh and body parts.
The blasts occurred near the Karrada district in central Baghdad, an area many pilgrims would pass through on their way to the shrine, and came after gunmen killed seven pilgrims in southern Baghdad on Sunday as they made their way to the shrine on foot. The pilgrimage marks the death of one of Shia Islam's 12 imams, and Iraqi officials said they expected a high turn-out because of increased security.
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