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Double suicide bombing kills 60 in Iraqi capital

A DOUBLE suicide bombing killed 60 people outside a shrine in Baghdad yesterday - a day after many were killed in separate bombings.

The bombings are the latest in a series of high-profile attacks blamed on insurgents, police officials said.

Yesterday the bombers detonated explosive belts within minutes of each other near separate gates of the tomb of Imam Mousa al-Kazim, located in the northern neighborhood of Kazimiyah, said a police official.

Another police official said the bombers struck shortly before the start of prayers as worshippers streamed into the mosque - an important site for pilgrims, yesterday.

Among the dead were 25 Iranian pilgrims, said a police and a hospital official.

Both said at least 125 people, including 80 Iranian pilgrims, also were injured in the blast.

The shrine has been a favored target of insurgents, most recently in early April when a bomb left in a plastic bag near the shrine killed seven people and wounded 23.

In January, a man dressed as a woman blew himself up near the shrine, killing more than three dozen people and wounding more than 70.

Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims march to Imam Mousa al-Kazim's shrine every year to commemorate his death in 799.

Violence in Iraq is at its lowest levels since the months following 2003. But the recent attacks in Baghdad and elsewhere have exposed gaps in security as Iraq takes over from withdrawing United States forces.

Funerals began yesterday for those killed in the suicide bombings a day earlier in Baghdad and in Diyala province.

Coffins were loaded on trucks near the Baghdad offices of the Iraqi Red Crescent, whose volunteers were distributing food parcels in central Baghdad when a suicide bomber killed 31.


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