In Baghdad on Monday a car bomb exploded, killing six pilgrims. This is just the latest deadly attack committed against Shiite Muslims who are on their way to perform religious rituals in the Iraqi city, considered holy by many, stated police and hospital officials.
In addition to the 6 dead, 13 others were wounded in the explosion which took place in a parking lot in close proximity to busloads of pilgrims in the outlying area of Karbala, 55 miles from Baghdad. A second bomb was discovered and disarmed before it exploded, police added.
Last week 56 Shiite pilgrims were killed as a result of a triple suicide bombing which took place along two separate highways which lead to Karbala from Baghdad. An additional 180 people were injured, the majority of who were Shiite Muslims on a pilgrimage to Karbala.
Hundreds of thousands of Shiites are gathering in Karbala on Monday night to mark the conclusion of Arbaeen. Arbaaen is a 40-day period of mourning which observes the death of the Imam Hussein in the 7th century. The Imam Hussein is one of the most revered of Muslim leaders among the Shiites.
Although no group has taken responsibility for the attacks, it is believed that Sunni religious extremists with ties to al-Quaida are the perpetrators, especially since suicide attacks are the trademark of the Islamic State of Iraq.