Suicide Bomber Kills at Least 37 Near Shrine
By TIMOTHY WILLIAMS
Published: January 4, 2009
BAGHDAD — A woman wearing an explosive belt blew herself up near the entrance of a revered Shiite shrine Sunday morning in Baghdad, killing at least 37 people, many of them Shiite pilgrims, according to the Ministry of the Interior. As many as 53 others were wounded in the attack, which occurred during a Shiite holy month.
The suicide bombing outside the Imam Moussa Al-kadhim shrine in the Kadhimiyah neighborhood came nine days after a Dec. 26 car bomb killed 24 people and wounded 46 others after it had exploded on a busy road near the same shrine.
The timing and location of each bombing appeared to be intended to reignite sectarian violence, from which Iraq had shown signs of emerging in recent months.
Sunday’s attack, which occurred at about 11:30 a.m., came during Muharram, among the holiest months for all Muslims but particularly for Shiites, who prepare to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. Imam Hussein was killed during a battle against the forces of a Sunni caliph in 680.
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This was Mark's AO (area of operations) for 10 months during the "surge." It was a very, very tough neighborhood when Bravo Co. arrived. But during the last year, it has been very quiet there. It would be tragic to seen the gains made lost in an attempt to reignite the sectarian strife.