More than 40 people have been killed in separate shootings and bombings. The attacks come amid heightened tension between the majority Shi’ite Muslims and the once politically dominant Sunni minority. A suicide bomber killed at least 13 in a town northeast of Baghdad, and another killed at least 23 in the town of Balad Ruz.
Ashura has been a target in the past for radical Sunni militants. Iraqi authorities had deployed 11,000 police and soldiers to the holy Shi’ite city of Kerbala, the focus of the Ashura commemorations.