19 killed in triple suicide bombings in Iraq (Lead)

July 28th, 2008 - 3:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Baghdad, July 28 (DPA) At least 19 people were killed in three suicide attacks carried out in quick succession amid a crowd of Shia pilgrims by female bombers in the Iraqi capital Monday, security sources said. More than 43 people were wounded as hundreds of thousands of Shia Muslim pilgrims poured into the capital for a religious event.

The bombers wearing explosive belts blew themselves up targeting pilgrims who were on their way to a Shia shrine at three sites in central Baghdad, a security official told the Voices of Iraq news agency.

An earlier media report said at least 10 people were killed by three female bombers.

Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims are heading to the Kazimyah shrine in north-western Baghdad to mark the death of a revered Shia imam. The event will start Tuesday.

Thousands of Iraqi forces along with US reinforcements have been deployed in the area as Kazimiyah was the site of previous attacks on pilgrims.

A team of female guards has been deployed for the first time in order to search women for bomb vests.

Seven pilgrims on their way to the shrine Sunday were shot dead by unknown assailants. The attacks occurred in the town of Madain, south of Baghdad.

Female suicide bombers up to now have been mainly active in the east-central province of Diyala, causing the US military there to set up an all-woman citizen’s brigade that searches women for explosives.

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