SHAFAQNA – At least seven people have been killed and several others injured in a car bomb attack that targeted a group of pilgrims in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, security sources say. Local security officials said the attack took place on Saturday afternoon in Baghdad’s central neighborhood of Karrada as organizers were delivering basic necessities to the pilgrims heading to the holy town of Kadhimiya, located in a northern neighborhood of the Iraqi capital. “A car parked near Kahramana square exploded… It was targeting Shiite pilgrims,” media outlets quoted a senior police colonel as saying.
The injured were shifted to a nearby hospital for necessary medical treatment. Kadhimiya is a predominantly Shia town in the crisis-hit country and is home to the shrines of two Shia Imams.
Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from all over Iraq and other countries converged in the holy shrine of the Seventh Shia Imam Musa ibn Jafar al-Kazim (PBUH) in northern Baghdad to commemorate the martyrdom anniversary of the imam. Despite the terrorist threats, the pilgrims marched to the holy city of Kadhimiya, where the shrine is located.
There has been high coordination since a week ago to provide health, security and basic services for the pilgrims during the pilgrimage. The attack comes as Iraqi security forces are battling against the Takfiri ISIL militants from the different parts of the country. ISIL launched an offensive in Iraq in June last year and took control of Mosul, the country’s second-largest city, before sweeping through parts of the country’s heartland. The terrorists have committed heinous crimes and threatened all communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, and Christians during their advances in Iraq.
Iraqi soldiers, police units, Kurdish forces, and Shia and Sunni volunteers have been engaged in joint operations to drive the terrorists out of the areas they have seized, with the recapture of the northern city of Tikrit being one of their significant achievements.