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At least 30 people died in a bomb attack today in Baghdad
At least 30 people died in a bomb attack today on a Shiite mosque in Iraq's capital Baghdad, the Associated Press said, quoting an Iraqi National Guard officer. The blast occurred during prayer time near the al-Khadimain mosque in the Doura district of southwest Baghdad, AP said, quoting First Lieutenant Ahmad Ali. Shiite Muslims are celebrating the Islamic holy month of Muharram and Feb. 19 is Ashura, a day that marks the death of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. Fears of suicide attacks prompted the government last week to announce that it would close the country's borders from Feb. 17 to Feb. 22 for the celebrations, reports Bloomberg. According to VOA News, Friday's blast comes on the eve of the holiest day in the Shi'ite Muslim calendar, Ashoura - which marks the death of the prophet Muhammad's grandson, Imam Hussein, in the 7th century. The explosion occurred in the Dora neighborhood of southern Baghdad, near al-Khadimain the main Shi'ite mosque in the capital. The Iraqi government has closed its land borders as part of stepped-up security for Ashoura. Last year, suicide bombers killed at least 170 worshippers on the holy day at religious shrines in Baghdad and Karbala. Border crossings are to remain closed until Tuesday, except for trucks carrying food or oil. In Karbala today, authorities said they have found the bodies of two police officers, both sons of the chief of police in Najaf, another Shi'ite shrine city.
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