63 killed in bomb attacks

A string of bomb and shooting attacks has killed at least 63 people in Iraq on Wednesday, wounding dozens more, according to the Associated Press.

The attacks targeted mainly Shiite pilgrims commemorating the anniversary of the 8th-century death of Imam Musa al-Kadhim. More than 30 people were killed in separate attacks in and around Baghdad, while at least 19 others were killed in the central Iraq city of Hilla. These were the third attacks this week targeting the pilgrimage of hundreds of thousands of Shiites who descend on Baghdad every year on foot for the religious cerimonies.

The violent attacks, the worst since American troops left the country, renewed fears of a sectarian civil war in Iraq.

From the Associated Press (via CBC):

Baghdad military command spokesman Col. Dhia al-Wakeel said Wednesday’s attacks meant to reignite all-out sectarian bloodshed, “but Iraqis are fully aware of the terrorism agenda and will not slip into a sectarian conflict.”

Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks but they bore the hallmarks of Sunni insurgents who frequently target Shiite pilgrimages in Iraq.