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
December 21, 2014 -- Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)
The tragic killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a bitter public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1327 GMT (2127 HKT)
North Korea warns the United States that U.S. "citadels" will be attacked, dwarfing the hacking attack on Sony that led to the cancellation of a comedy film's release.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0251 GMT (1051 HKT)
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it's never looked better.
December 20, 2014 -- Updated 1621 GMT (0021 HKT)
More than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation, Unicef has warned.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1322 GMT (2122 HKT)
Boko Haram's latest abductions may meet a weary global reaction, Nigerian journalist Tolu Ogunlesi says.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
Drops, smudges, pools of blood are everywhere -- but in the computer room CNN's Nic Robertson reels from the true horror of the Peshawar school attack.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1431 GMT (2231 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