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2 blasts in Iraq wound 16

From Mohammed Tawfeeq, CNN
  • Most of the victims are Shiite pilgrims
  • Both incidents happened in Salaheddin province

Baghdad, Iraq (CNN) -- Two explosions wounded at least 16 people Saturday in Salaheddin province, police officials in Samarra said.

The first explosion involved a car bomb inside a bus station used by Shiite pilgrims in central Samarra, a city about 100 kilometers north of Baghdad. Eleven people, most of them Shiite pilgrims, were injured there.

The others were wounded in a second incident that happened when a roadside bomb struck a bus carrying pilgrims along a highway near Balad, about 80 kilometers north of the capital.

Sunni extremists, including al Qaeda in Iraq, have consistently targeted Shiite pilgrims since 2003. There are a number of Shiite shrines across the country that millions of Shiite visit each year, even though they are located in predominately Sunni areas.

Last month, three bombings targeted Shiite pilgrims in and around Karbala, Iraq, killing at least 33 people, officials said.