Blasts kill 25 Shiite pilgrims in Iraq

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Baghdad, Iraq (CNN) -- Twenty-five Shiite pilgrims were killed and 62 others were wounded Thursday in two attacks in Iraq, officials said.

The victims were killed by roadside and car bombings, Iraqi Interior Ministry officials said.

The attacks, in the town of Hilla in Babil province, come a day after several pilgrims were killed and a few dozen were wounded in Baghdad strikes.

Hundreds of thousands of Shiite pilgrims are expected in Baghdad and the southern Iraqi city of Karbala for Ashura, which falls on Sunday this year.

Ashura commemorates the martyrdom of Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. Hussein was killed in battle in Karbala in 680, one of the events that helped create the schism between Sunnis and Shiites, the two main Muslim religious movements.

CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.



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