Skip to main content

Attacks across Baghdad and northern Iraq kill 70

By Mohammed Tawfeeq, CNN
December 16, 2013 -- Updated 2059 GMT (0459 HKT)
A member of the Iraqi security forces monitors a checkpoint in Baghdad on December 16, 2013.
A member of the Iraqi security forces monitors a checkpoint in Baghdad on December 16, 2013.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Militants kill at least 44 people headed to Shiite religious commemoration
  • NEW: Other violence includes attacks on police station, city council building
  • Similar violence killed 21 people on Sunday
  • More than 8,000 people have been killed in Iraq in 2013, according to the United Nations

Baghdad (CNN) -- At least 70 people have been killed in another wave of the horrifying daily violence that is threatening to unravel Iraq, police officials around the country said.

More than 40 were killed in Baghdad Monday, many of whom were on their way to the Shiite holy city of Karbala. Another 17 pilgrims in Mosul were also killed by militants.

In Baghdad, at least 27 people were killed and more than 50 wounded when two car bombs exploded in quick succession near a procession of pilgrims making their way by foot to Karbala for the annual commemoration of the seventh century death of their Imam Hussein, a memorial called the Arbaeen.

Hussein was killed during a battle near Karbala for control of the Muslim nation after Mohammed's death in 632. Hussein's death led to a split between Sunni and Shiite Muslims.

The violence comes a day after at least 21 people died, including an anchor with al-Mousliya TV, in shootings and explosions, police said.

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad issued a statement to condemn "the appalling acts of terrorism carried out against innocent victims in Iraq" in the last two days.

Also Monday, at least eight people were killed and four others wounded when a car bomb exploded outside a police station in Baiji, authorities in Tikrit told CNN. Militants freed at least 10 prisoners, authorities said.

Minutes after the initial explosion, gunmen stormed the station and clashes erupted between them and Iraqi security forces, police officials said.

Baiji is located about 200 miles (320 km) north of Baghdad in Salaheddin province.

In nearby Tikrit, militants stormed the city council building, clashed with Iraqi security forces and occupied the facility for a time, police officials in the city said. Several hostages were freed, but at least five were killed.

State-run Iraqia TV reported that an anti-terrorism unit freed some hostages and killed the militants.

More than 8,000 people have been killed in Iraq in 2013, according to U.N. figures.

16 killed in Baghdad violence

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0242 GMT (1042 HKT)
Successful launch of lunar orbiter, seen as a precursor for a planned mission to the surface of the moon, marks significant advance for the country's space program.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1915 GMT (0315 HKT)
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, shot while standing guard at Ottawa's National War Memorial, was known for his easygoing manner and smile.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT)
Non-stop chatter about actress' appearance is nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 2208 GMT (0608 HKT)
CEO's 30-min Putonghua chat is the perfect charm offensive for Facebook's last untapped market.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0345 GMT (1145 HKT)
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2058 GMT (0458 HKT)
Air New Zealand's new 'Hobbit' safety video stars Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, elves and orcs.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1414 GMT (2214 HKT)
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0333 GMT (1133 HKT)
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1607 GMT (0007 HKT)
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 1748 GMT (0148 HKT)
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0959 GMT (1759 HKT)
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 1021 GMT (1821 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT