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8 pilgrims killed by suicide bomb

Eight people were killed and 16 others injured when a suicide car bomb went off next to a crowd of Shiite pilgrims, Iraqi authorities said.

Police and a local official said the attack happened overnight near the town of Balad as the group were returning from a Shiite shrine in the city of Samarra.

Samarra is the burial site for two revered 9th century Shiite imams and yesterday a ceremony was held to mark the death of one of them.

The region north of Baghdad is predominantly Sunni and last year much of it was seized in a blitz by the extremist Islamic State group.

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