Updated at 6:40 p.m. EST, Feb. 13, 2009
A female suicide bomber
entered a tent filled with Arbaeen pilgrims and killed dozens in a third day of
significant sectarian attacks. Overall, at least 45 Iraqis were killed and
another 91 were wounded across the country. One
British soldier was also killed during a shooting incident in southern
Iraq. Also, Former interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, whose National List made
modest gains in provincial elections, insisted
that national elections later this year must be made "fairer" that the recent
one or else Iraq's fragile peace will be in danger.
A female suicide bomber
at least 40 pilgrims and wounded 83 more when she detonated her explosives
inside a tent located between Mussayab and Iskandariya. The pilgrims, mostly
women and children, were traveling to Karbala for Arbaeen. Large tents, such as
this on, dot the routes to Karbala and offer travelers water, food and a simple
place to rest. This one serviced families. Arbaeen is one of the holiest observances
in the Shi'ite calendar. It marks 40 days since Ashoura, which commemorates the
martydom of Imam Hussein, who was Muhammad's grandson. His death ignited the schism
between Shi'ites and Sunnis.
In Baghdad, gunmen stormed a home
belonging to a defense ministry officer where they killed
him and his son. A man drove a truck over a group of policemen, killing two
and injuring four, but this could have been an accident.
Gunmen threw a hand grenade at a checkoint and injured
three Iraqi soldiers.
In Mosul, the body
of a girl, bearing gunshot wounds to her head and chest, was found. Mortars
struck a checkpoint and wounded
four more soldiers. Yesterday, gunmen wounded
a man who was a candidate in recent elections.
boys were killed behind a home in Mussayab. As they were playing, they
triggered the explosives in an old mortar round.
Two suspects were detained
Three Iranian gunmen were detained
in Khanaqin. They are suspected of belonging to Iranian intelligence and may have
been involved in recent incidents.
Turkish authorities claimed
to have killed 13 Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels during air strikes last
week in northern Iraq. The PKK said
only three rebels were killed. Their nationalities were not released. Meanwhile,
Iranian artillery shelled
border regions thought to harbor Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) rebels.
The PJAK is an offshoot of the PKK group.
Accurate figures are difficult
to obtain from these sparsely populated areas. Kurdish rebels would like to see
an independent Kurdistan comprised of parts of five countries including Turkey
and Iraq. Turkey in particular has been criticized internationally for its treatment
of Kurds, but at the same time, the PKK is considered a terrorist group.
by Margaret Griffis