Bombers have killed at least 50 people in Iraq, in one of the bloodiest days in recent months. 22 people died in the northern oil city of Kirkuk, when terrorists attacked a rally protesting at new election laws. It is not known who planted the bomb, but local Kurds want Kirkuk to be part of largely-autonomous Iraqi Kurdestan, while Arabs and Turkmen prefer to remain under the control of Baghdad.
Security sources insist levels of violence have been falling in Iraq, but bombers also struck in the capital. The targets there were Shi’ite pilgrims arriving for a major religious festival.
It is thought three female suicide bombers killed themselves and 28 others in a suspected al-Qaeda attack. The Sunni-based group considers Shi’ites as heretics and has attacked believers and shrines before, including the Askariya mosque at Samarra in 2006.
A million pilgrims are expected in Baghdad for tomorrow’s festival, one of the most important dates in the Shi’ite religious calendar.