Three blasts kill 12 in Iraq's Kerbala

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 25, 2011 4:28 AM

KERBALA, Iraq (Reuters) - Three blasts in the Iraqi city of Kerbala killed at least 12 people and wounded 30 more as they lined up outside a local government building, police said on Sunday.

A bomb in a car exploded outside the offices where national ID cards and passports are issued and two other blasts went off as emergency services arrived at the site.

"When people and security personnel were busy evacuating the dead and the wounded, another two explosions hit the place, causing more casualties," a Kerbala police official said.

Kerbala, a major Shi'ite holy city 80 km (50 miles) southwest of the capital Baghdad, has often been attacked in the past by Sunni Islamist insurgents targeting Shi'ite pilgrims who flock to the city's religious sites.

A suicide bomber targeting pilgrims on their way to Kerbala killed four people and wounded 17 others on Thursday.

Violence has eased since the height of sectarian strife in 2006-2007, but insurgents tied to al-Qaeda and Shi'ite militias still carry out almost daily attacks that are testing Iraq's government as U.S. troops prepare to withdraw at the end of the year.

(Reporting by Habib al-Zubaidi; writing by Patrick Markey)