Skip to main content

Attacks across Baghdad and northern Iraq kill 70

By Mohammed Tawfeeq, CNN
updated 3:59 PM EST, Mon December 16, 2013
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
updated 5:45 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
updated 9:43 PM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
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.
updated 4:48 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
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.
updated 3:27 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
updated 9:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
updated 7:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
updated 6:44 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
updated 5:26 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
updated 5:54 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
updated 9:31 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
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