55 killed, 126 injured in Iraq attacks (Lead)

June 13th, 2012 - 5:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Baghdad, June 13 (IANS) At least 55 people were killed and 126 others wounded in a series of bomb and gunfire attacks in several Iraqi cities Wednesday, police said.

The apparently coordinated bombings occurred ahead of a Shia religious festival Friday as tens of thousands of pilgrims march to Baghdad to observe the death of Imam Kadhum at his shrine, Xinhua reported.

According to a police source, the first explosions occurred in downtown Hilla, some 100 km from Baghdad. Two car bombs detonated near a restaurant in central Hilla and killed at least 20 people, wounding 38 others.

In Baghdad, another car bomb went off near the commercial compound of mission in southern Baghdad, killing nine people and wounding 21 others, the source said.

In a separate attack, a car bomb ripped through the holy Shiite neighbourhood of Kadhmiyah in northern Baghdad, killing seven people and wounding 20 others, the source added.

Separately, a car bomb detonated near Uqba Bin-Nafie Square in Baghdad central district of Karrada killed seven people and wounded 11 others, he said.

Also in Baghdad, three policemen were gunned down by armed men in two attacks in Saidiyah district, he said.

Another car bomb went off at the town of Al Madain, some 30 km south of Baghdad, killing three people and wounding 11 others, the source said.

Meanwhile, two people were killed and seven wounded in a car bomb explosion at Nahrawan area in south of Baghdad, the source added.

Also in the morning, two car bombs went off separately in the central and at the entrance of the city of Balad, some 80 km north of Baghdad, killing four people and wounding 18 others.

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