Iraq sees second big wave of attacks since US troop pullout

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Militants in Iraq have carried out their second large-scale assault since U.S. forces pulled out last month.

A wave of bombings today killed at least 78 people. The attacks, targeting Shiite Muslims, came ahead of a Shiite holy day that draws hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from across Iraq.

The attacks began during Baghdad's morning rush hour, with explosions that killed at least 30 people in the city's largest Shiite neighborhood and another district that contains a Shiite shrine.

Hours later, a suicide attack hit pilgrims heading to the Shiite holy city of Karbala, killing 48 people.

The attacks come at an unstable time for Iraq's fledgling democracy. A unity government is mired in a political crisis between the Shiite majority that is now in power and the Sunni minority, which was in control during Saddam Hussein's regime.

(Copyright 2012, The Associated Press)

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