Women suicide bombers kill 40 in Iraq (Third lead)

July 28th, 2008 - 9:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Baghdad, July 28 (Xinhua) At least 50 people were killed and more than 100 injured in a series of bomb attacks carried out by female suicide squads in Iraq Monday, authorities said. Three female suicide bombers blew themselves up in quick succession in a crowd of Shia pilgrims in Baghdad killing at least 19 people and wounding more than 40 while in the northern city of Kirkuk another female human bomb detonated her explosive vest killing 22 people and wounding about 45, police said.

“A suicide bomber wearing an explosive-belt blew himself up among a crowd of Kurdish people demonstrating in front of the government building in central Kirkuk,” Brigadier Burhan Wasif, police chief of the city, said.

The attack targeted a demonstration of Kurdish people who were protesting the passage of a controversial law on the provincial election by the Iraqi parliament, he said.

The demonstrators were demanding that Kirkuk, being a predominantly Kurd area, be integrated into the Kurdistan autonomous region

On July 22, the Iraqi parliament approved the key election bill, despite a walkout by lawmakers from the Kurdish coalition bloc.

In the Baghdad incident, bombers blew themselves up targeting pilgrims who were on their way to a Shia shrine at three sites in central Baghdad, DPA added quoting the Voices of Iraq news agency.

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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