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Sectarian violence kills dozens in Iraq

From Mohammed Tawfeeq, CNN
October 6, 2013 -- Updated 0952 GMT (1752 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A suicide bomber targets Shiite pilgrims in northeastern Baghdad, killing 51
  • 12 people are killed by a car bomb in Balad, which is predominantly Shiite
  • A reporter and cameraman working for a pro-Sunni TV station are shot dead

(CNN) -- A number of sectarian attacks occurred Saturday in Iraq, killing dozens and wounding many more.

In northeastern Baghdad, 51 people were killed and 107 others were wounded in a suicide attack that targeted Shiite pilgrims, police said.

The bomber, wearing an explosive vest, detonated among Shiite pilgrims near the al-Amma bridge in the Sunni al-Adhamiya neighborhood. The victims were among thousands of Shiite pilgrims heading to the al-Kadhimiya neighborhood of northwestern Baghdad to commemorate the death of Mohammed al-Jawad, the ninth of the 12 imams in Shiism.

In a separate incident in the town of Balad in the north, at least 12 people were killed and 32 others were wounded when a car bomb exploded Saturday evening outside a coffee shop, police said.

The town, which is predominantly Shiite, is located in Salaheddin province some 56 miles (90 km) north of Baghdad and has been the site of previous violence.

In August 2012, at least 12 people were killed and 45 others were wounded when a suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest blew himself up inside a coffee shop, police said then. It was not clear whether Saturday's attack occurred at the same coffee shop.

In the al-Baya neighborhood of southwestern Baghdad, a makeshift bomb exploded Saturday evening inside a coffee shop, killing two people and wounding 10 others, Baghdad police told CNN. The area is largely Shia.

On Saturday morning, gunmen fatally shot a television reporter and a cameraman who were working for al-Sharqiya, a private, pro-Sunni television station that is often critical of the Shiite-led government. The incident occurred in central Mosul in northern Iraq, police said.

Also Saturday, at least two Iraqi security forces were killed and three others were wounded when gunmen attacked a security checkpoint south of Falluja, a predominantly Sunni city about 60 km (38 miles) west of Baghdad in Anbar province, police in Ramadi told CNN.

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