Scores killed in Iraq bloodshed ahead of Shi'ite holy day




 
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Scores killed in Iraq bloodshed ahead of Shi'ite holy day
 
December 16th, 2013  
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Topic: Scores killed in Iraq bloodshed ahead of Shi'ite holy day


Scores killed in Iraq bloodshed ahead of Shi'ite holy day
By Ghazwan Hassan TIKRIT (Reuters) - Suicide bombers and gunmen killed scores of people in Iraq on Monday in attacks mostly targeting Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims and official buildings ahead of a major Shi'ite ritual next week. Al Qaeda-linked Sunni Muslim militants have intensified attacks on the security forces, civilians and anyone seen as supporting the Shi'ite-led government in Baghdad, tipping Iraq back into its deadliest levels of violence in five years. The first major attack of the day came in Baiji, 180 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, when four men wearing explosive belts took over a police station after detonating a car bomb outside, police sources said. "All the militants were killed before they reached the police department building where the detainees are held." No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but suicide bombings are the trademark of al Qaeda's Iraqi wing, which merged this year with its Syrian counterpart to form the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

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