Three Indian pilgrims from Mumbai were killed in a car bomb blast in the Iraqi holy city of Karbala on Saturday night, their families said.
The explosion left 71 people dead, and provoked US forces into firing an artillery barrage on targets in southern Baghdad. AFP quoted Karbala’s health spokesman Salim Khadhim as saying there were "four Indian men" among those killed in the blast.
The Ministry of External Affairs couldn’t confirm the deaths. Officials said they were trying to ascertain details of the incident. It wasn’t clear how the Indians had managed to enter Iraq. No Indian has been issued a visa to travel to Iraq for three years now. An advisory has been in place against going to Iraq since 2004.
According to the two families who live at Khokha Bazaar on Mumbai’s Mohammed Ali Road, Hussein Sheikh Mohammed Rampurawala and brothers Oan Mahabaleshwarwala and Mohammed Mahabaleshwarwala were killed when the bomb went off outside the Faiz-e-Husseini building where they were staying.
They were informed of the deaths by the trustees of Faiz-e-Husseini, Murtuza Rampurawala, Hussein’s elder brother, told Hindustan Times.