Sunni seen bracing for reprisal attack.
This was predicted. As soon as the US left Iraq, the jihadis’ (on both sides) sharpened knives and large caches of explosives would be put to use. This will be a war of attrition. KGS
Iraq: Bomb kills 20 Shiite pilgrims in south
ZUBAIR, Iraq — A bomb killed at least 20 Shiite pilgrims near the southern port city of Basra on Saturday, Iraqi officials said. It was the latest in a series of attacks during Shiite religious commemorations that threaten to further increase sectarian tensions just weeks after the U.S. withdrawal.
Basra hospitals have received 20 killed and 70 wounded after the blast near a shrine close to the town of Zubair, said Dr. Riyadh Abdul-Amir, the head of Basra Health Directorate.
A police official confirmed the death toll. He spoke anonymously because he was not authorized to release details to the media.
The governor of Basra province’s spokesman, Ayad al-Emarah, said it was not clear whether the blast was caused by a suicide attacker or a roadside bomb.
The explosion came as Shiites commemorate the climax of Arbaeen, which marks the end of 40 days of mourning following the anniversary of the death of Imam Hussein, a revered Shiite figure.
Majid Hussein, a government employee, was one of the pilgrims heading to the shrine. He said people began running away in panic when they heard a loud explosion.
“I saw several dead bodies and wounded persons, including children on the ground asking for help. There were also some baby strollers left at the blast site,” he said.