Tuesday, March 02, 2004

This is horrible. We were there, in Kadhimiya, at the spot where the blast occurred. This is where my Grandmother is buried and Kristie and I spent a day at the holy shrine. Our Family are the gate keepers for the Kadhimiya (spelled Kazimiyain this article) shrine. Now this...from the Gaurdian:

KARBALA, Iraq (AP) - Simultaneous explosions ripped through crowds of worshippers Tuesday at Shiite Muslim shrines in Baghdad and the city of Karbala, killing at least 143 people on the holiest day of the Shiite calendar, a U.S. official said. It was the bloodiest day since the end of major fighting.

The attacks, a combination of suicide bombers and planted explosives, came during the Shiite festival of Ashoura and coincided with a shooting attack on Shiite worshippers in Quetta, Pakistan that killed at least 29 people and wounded more than 150.

Tuesday was the climactic day of the 10-day Ashoura festival, which marks the killing of Shiite saint Imam Hussein in a 7th century battle. It is the most important period in the Shiite religious calendar and draws hundreds of thousands of pilgrims in Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and other Shiite communities.

Three suicide bombers set off their explosives in and around Baghdad's Kazimiya shrine, killing 58 and wounding 200, U.S. Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt told reporters. In Karbala, at least one suicide attacker blew himself up and pre-set explosives detonated, killing 85 and wounding more than 100, he said.

A fourth suicide bomber whose explosives did not detonate was captured at Kazimiya, and four people were arrested in connection with the attack in Karbala, Kimmitt told reporters in Baghdad. Another bomb was found and defused Monday night in Najaf, the holiest Shiite city, police said.

I called my father and he says he is sure these are outsiders, most likely Al-Qaida related. How disgusting to do this, from one Muslim to another. My father says there are more dead and counting and the numbers will go up.