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Shiite pilgrims die in Iraq blast

A suicide bombing targeting Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad and other violence across the country has killed 16 people, officials say.

The suicide bomber set off his explosive belt near a group of pilgrims in Baghdad's southern district of Dora, killing 11 people and wounding 22.

The pilgrims were heading to the holy Shiite city of Karbala, 90 kilometres (55 miles) to the south. Shiite pilgrims are commemorating Arbaeen, the end of 40 days of mourning following the anniversary of the death of the Prophet Mohammed's grandson, Imam Hussein, a revered Shiite figure.

Hundreds of thousands of Shiite pilgrims make their way every year to Karbala for Arbaeen. Al Qaida and Sunni Muslim insurgents frequently target the Shiites, whom they consider to be infidels.

Meanwhile gunmen wearing military uniforms broke into the home of a former member of anti-al Qaida Sunni militia in Baghdad's western suburb of Abu Ghraib, killing him, his wife, his two children and his brother-in-law.

The Sunni militia, known as Sahwa, joined forces with US forces during the height of Iraq's sectarian conflict to fight al Qaida. Ever since it has been a target for Sunni insurgents who consider its members traitors.

AP

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