A suicide attack near a Shi'ite shrine killed at least 36 people on Monday in the central Iraqi city of Karbala, a health official said. The attack came as United States Vice-President Dick Cheney visited Baghdad on a surprise trip and met several US and Iraqi leaders to discuss the recent improvement in security across the country.
A suicide car bomber detonated his payload on a crowded street near a revered Shi'ite shrine in the Iraqi city of Karbala on Saturday, killing at least 58 people and wounding nearly 170 others. ''Many of the wounded are women and children,'' said a spokesperson for the Karbala health department.
Iraqi security forces fought Shi'ite militias in several southern cities on Wednesday as the embattled government tried once more to impose its authority on the divided country. Government troops regained control of the holy city of Karbala after killing ten members of a Shi'ite cleric's private army, arresting 281 more and imposing a strict curfew on the town.
Two suicide car bombers killed 10 people when they struck checkpoints south of Baghdad on Monday on a road used by thousands of Iraqi Shi'ite pilgrims making their way by foot to the holy city of Karbala. The bombers struck separate road checkpoints halfway between Baghdad and Karbala, a defence ministry official said.
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Shi'ite pilgrims descended on the holy city of Karbala on Monday amid tight security following a spate of bomb attacks against the country's majority population. Shi'ite Muslims are commemorating the birth of Imam Mehdi, their 12th and last imam who disappeared more than 11 centuries ago.