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Concerted Suicide Bombings Kill 60 at Iraqi Shrine

At least 60 people were killed and 125 others wounded as two suicide bombers concertedly blew themselves up at the gates of the revered Shiite shrine of Imam Musa al-Kadhim in Baghdad on Friday, say media reports citing police officials in Baghdad and hinting that the death toll may spiral.

The blasts come a day after Iraq was rocked by three suicide bombings – one in Baghdad and two in Diyala – that left 80 dead, on what correspondents termed as the single deadliest day in Iraq in more than a year.

Like the previous bombings, the attacks apparently targeted Shiites in particular, media reports coming in from Baghdad citing interior ministry officials say many of those killed in today’s twin bombings appeared to be Iranians on a pilgrimage to the shrine.

Speaking on condition of anonymity the officials said that the bombers, ostensibly, mingled with the crowds at the main entrance to the shrine

On Thursday three suicide bombings — one in Baghdad and two in Diyala, the restive province northeast of the capital — killed more than 80 people. In barely 24 hours, five bombings have killed at least 140 people and wounded 240.

In Thursday’s worst attack: a restaurant in the city of Muqdadiya was destroyed killing at least 47 people – the death toll has since risen to 56 – most of them Iranians travelling in buses.

The bombings have triggered fears of sectarian tensions between two of Islam’s oldest sects.

While the Sunnis are followers of the Prophet, the Shiites believe themselves to be tribesmen of his warrior son-in-law Ali.

Meanwhile, the government claims to have arrested Abu Omar al-Baghdadi – a key leader behind the Sunni insurgency in the country, no further details were available on the arrest.

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