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14 die, 44 hurt in Iraq suicide bombings

In the western province of Anbar, 12 people were killed and 41 injured in a suicide car bomb attack near a checkpoint, security and medical sources at Ramadi general hospital said.

world Updated: Dec 12, 2010 18:53 IST

At least 14 people were killed and 44 injured on Sunday in two suicide bomb attacks in Iraq.

In the western province of Anbar, 12 people were killed and 41 injured in a suicide car bomb attack near a checkpoint, security and medical sources at Ramadi general hospital said.

The explosion took place in central Ramadi, around 300 metres away from the Anbar government offices, killing 12 people, including six police officers.

Ramadi, some 100 km west of Baghdad, is the capital of Anbar province. The area was once an Islamist militant stronghold.

Another suicide bomber wearing an explosive belt targeted a group of Shia pilgrims in the Iraqi city of Baquba. The attack killed two people and injured three, according to police sources.

The pilgrims were heading to participate in processions for Ashura, an annual day of mourning when Shia Muslims mark the death of Imam Hussein, the prophet Mohammed's grandson, in the Battle of Karbala in the year 680.

Shortly after, a high ranking officer escaped an assassination attempt when an explosive went off during his inspection of the site of the suicide bombing in Baquba, located some 60 km northeast of Baghdad.

Over a million pilgrims are expected in Karbala city, south of Baghdad, later this week for the culmination of Ashura.

Safeguarding pilgrims during major Shia festivals remains a challenge for security forces. Previous years have also seen Ashura processions attacked.

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