Volume. 11965

More than 50 killed in Iraq in run-up to Arbaeen
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_Israel99.jpgSuicide bombers and gunmen killed at least 54 people in Iraq on Monday, medical and police sources said, in attacks mostly targeting Shia Muslims, who mark the big religious festival of Arbaeen next week. 
Al Qaeda-linked Sunni Muslim militants have intensified attacks on the security forces, civilians and anyone seen as supporting the Shia-led government in Baghdad, tipping Iraq back into its deadliest levels of violence in five years.
In Baiji, 180 km (112 miles) north of Baghdad, four men wearing explosive belts took over a police station after detonating a car bomb parked outside, police sources said.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but suicide bombings are the trademark of al Qaeda's Iraqi wing, which merged this year with its Syrian counterpart to form the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Two hours later, three suicide bombers seized the local council building in Tikrit, 150 km (95 miles) north of the capital, after setting off two car bombs outside, security sources said. At least three people were killed.
The Interior Ministry put the toll for the attacks in Baiji and Tikrit at 11 dead, including the suicide bombers, and three wounded.
A spate of car bombs and roadside bombs in mainly Shia neighborhoods of Baghdad also killed at least 27 people and wounded scores, police and medical sources said.
In Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, militants in a car intercepted a bus carrying Shia pilgrims to the shrine city of Karbala from the northern Shia town of Tal Afar, and shot 12 of them dead, police said.
Security services have been on high alert since last week because they expect more attacks on Shias before Iraq's majority community marks the ritual of Arbaeen, commemorating the death of Imam Hussein, grandson of Prophet Mohammad.
(Source: Reuters)

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