At least 50 people have been killed and scores of others injured in a series of bomb attacks across Iraq on Tuesday, according to local media reports citing officials.
The deadliest of Tuesday's attacks occurred at a busy market in the city of Diwaniya. An explosives-laden vegetable truck detonated in the city's main fish and vegetable market, killing at least 25 people and leaving more than 40 others injured.
The city of Karbala, located about 25 miles from Diwaniya, was rocked by two bomb blasts on Tuesday. At least 5 people were killed and more than 30 were wounded in the explosions. The attacks came as thousands of Shiite pilgrims gathered in Karbala for celebrating the Shabaniyah festival, which marks the anniversary of the birth of a key Shiite Imam.
Although no group claimed responsibility for those attacks, local authorities blame al-Qaeda-linked Sunni militant groups who have been active in the region in recent years.
Two bomb explosions were reported in the predominately Sunni city of Taji, some 12 miles north of capital Baghdad. Three people, including a policeman, were killed in the explosions, which also left more than 15 others injured.
Also, one policeman was reportedly killed in a militant attack in town of Tuz Khurmatu. In addition, a bomb blast in Baghdad's Sunni neighborhood of Ghazaliya is said to have injured three policemen and two civilians.
Violence has dropped across Iraq in recent years, but the war-ravaged country still witnesses such attacks, mostly sectarian in nature, on a regular basis. Such incidents have gone up drastically after U.S. combat forces left the country late last year.
It is estimated that more than 200 people were killed in Iraq in such attacks in June, making it the second bloodiest month this year. In January, at least 255 people were killed in similar militant attacks across the country.
The last of U.S. combat troops left Iraq by the end of December, ending a decade-long American military presence since the 2001 invasion of the Middle East nation. The troop pullout was in line with a bilateral security agreement that required the withdrawal of all American troops from the country by the end of 2011.
by RTT Staff Writer
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