BAGHDAD - Militants struck across the Iraqi capital Wednesday, killing more than 50 people, including 32 in a suicide bombing that targeted pilgrims commemorating a revered Shiite saint, Iraqi police said.
The deadliest of the attacks, which also wounded nearly 100 people, occurred in northern Baghdad's predominantly Sunni neighborhood of Azamiyah. Police said the blast split the hot night air as Shiite pilgrims were about to cross a bridge leading to a shrine in the Shiite Kazimiyah neighborhoodto mark the anniversary of the death of Moussa al-Kadhim, the seventh imam.
A vehicle ban was in place across Kazimiyah, and 200,000 members of security forces were deployed along the way to the shrine, searching pilgrims for weapons at various checkpoints.
The attack took place near the bridge where 900 people died in 2005 in a stampede sparked by a rumor that a suicide bomber was among the more than 1 million people who had gathered at the Kazimiyah shrine to mark the date of the imam's death.
Also on Wednesday, at least seven Shiite pilgrims were killed in two separate attacks in Harthiya neighborhood in western Baghdad. Twenty-nine people were wounded in the two attacks, police and hospital officials said.
The other 11 deaths occurred in several suicide, roadside and mortar attacks in western and eastern Baghdad, officials said.