BASRA, Iraq (Jan. 14) – According to media reports; at least 53 Shi’ite pilgrims were killed today (Saturday, Jan. 14) in an explosion near southern port city of Baasra.
Today’s blast was the latest one in a series of assaults during Shi'ite religious activities that have killed hundreds of people and warn to raise sectarian tensions just weeks after the withdrawal of U.S. troops.
The explosion took place on the last of the 40 days of Arbain, when hundreds of thousands of Shi'ite pilgrims from Iraq and abroad visit the Iraqi city of Karbala, as well as other holy places.
Dr Riyadh Abdul-Amir, the head of the Basra Health Directorate, told that hospital received 53 killed and 137 injured after the blast. The death toll is feared to be risen as quite a few among injured were in critical condition, Abdul-Amir said further.