Bomb at Iraqi pilgrim restaurant kills 4, wounds 17


A suicide bomber blew up a minibus in front of a restaurant used by Shi’ite pilgrims in the Iraqi town of Haswa killing four people and wounding 17 others, security sources said.

The explosion took place about 50 km (30 miles) south of Baghdad and targeted pilgrims who were on their way to the southern holy city of Kerbala.
“A suicide bomber in a minibus drove into a restaurant, which is usually used by Shi’ite pilgrims. But concrete blast walls helped to lessen the number of casualties,” said a police source, who declined to be named, Reuters reports.

The Babil province security operations centre said four people were killed in the explosion and 17 others were wounded.

Violence has dropped sharply in Iraq since the peak of sectarian fighting in 2006-07 but bombings and other attacks still occur daily as the army and police battle Sunni insurgents and Shi’ite Muslim militias.

Shi’ite pilgrims have been frequent targets of the still lethal Sunni insurgency trying to destabilise Iraq’s nascent democracy as U.S. troops prepare to withdraw by December.