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11 killed in attacks in run up to Shiite rituals



ZUBAIDIYAH: A car bombing at a market in central Iraq killed eight people on today and three others were murdered in Baghdad, the latest in a spike in nationwide unrest ahead of Shiite rituals.

The violence came a day after a series of attacks across Iraq killed 38 amid preparations for ceremonies on Friday to commemorate the birth of a key figure in Shiite Islam.

A car bombing in the town of Zubaidiyah today killed eight people and wounded 37 others, a security official and a medic at a hospital in nearby Aziziyah said on condition of anonymity. The medical official said a child was among the dead, and women and children were among the wounded.

About a dozen shops were badly damaged by the bombing and security officials imposed a vehicle curfew on the town in the aftermath of the attack.

In Baghdad, a series of assassinations by gunmen using silenced pistols left three people dead — two police officers and a parliament official.

In one shooting, policewoman Ibtisam Ibrahim was killed by gunshots to the head in the east of the capital, an interior ministry official and a medic at Al-Kindi hospital said.

In west Baghdad, off-duty police first lieutenant Ahmed Swadi, who was wearing civilian clothes, was killed, the interior ministry official and a doctor at Yarmuk hospital said.

An employee at Iraq’s parliament, Farhan Kadhim Mussa, was gunned down in the north of the capital, an interior ministry official said.

The unrest comes ahead of the Shiite commemorations to mark the birth of the 12th imam, with pilgrims visiting the shrine of Karbala becoming targets of Sunni insurgents.

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