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  Tuesday, September 17, 2019
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Eight suicide bombings in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq killed at least 23 people
Eight suicide bombings in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq killed at least 23 people, including a U.S. soldier, and injured 70 as Shiite Muslim worshippers around the country celebrated their holiest day of the year. The attacks came one day after at least 36 people, mostly Shiites, were killed in a string of attacks. Saturday's bombings, during the religious festival of Ashoura, occurred despite stepped-up security around the country. Authorities had hoped to prevent a repeat of last year's attacks during Ashoura in which insurgent blasts killed at least 181 people in Karbala and Baghdad. The attacks occurred as a five-member U.S. congressional delegation, including Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and John McCain, R-Ariz., met with Iraqi government officials in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, reports the Boston Globe. According to the New York Times, Friday-s attacks began about 12:30 p.m. when a guard searched a man wearing a black robe at the front gate of Al Kadimain Mosque in southern Baghdad as people were arriving for prayers, an Interior Ministry spokesman and witnesses at the scene said. The guard discovered an explosive vest under the robe and gripped the man tightly as his belt exploded. The gate was demolished as blood, body parts and debris were strewn over the area. An official at Yarmouk Hospital, where many of the casualties were taken, said at least 15 people had been killed and 33 wounded. Beginning at 2 p.m., four more suicide bombers struck Shiite religious gatherings and a police checkpoint. The final death toll was at least 35, The Associated Press reported, which would make it the bloodiest day in Iraq since the Jan. 30 elections. The people who carried out the attacks, are ?followers of the former regime and those who have a goal of making a civil war,¦ said Jouad al-Maliki, a Shiite leader who won a seat in the national assembly in the elections.
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