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Iraq: 21 Killed in Attacks on Ashoura Commemoration
Attacks across Iraq targeting security forces and those marking a major Shiite commemoration killed 21 people on Wednesday while gunmen in the former insurgent stronghold of Fallujah assassinated the city's mayor as he was supervising a clean-up project.
The deadliest among Wednesday's attacks was the one targeting a group of Shiites marking Ashoura in the eastern city of Baqouba, a former al-Qaida stronghold, 60 kilometers (35 miles) northeast of Baghdad. That attack killed eight people, including two children, and wounded 35, a police officer said.
Shiites are marking Ashoura, the remembrance commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and 72 companions at the Battle of Karbala in present-day Iraq in the 7th century.
Several medical officials confirmed the casualty figures from the attacks. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to publicly release the figures.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Wednesday's attacks, but suicide attacks and bombings, especially against Iraqi forces and Shiites, are a favorite tactic of al-Qaida's local branch.
Wednesday's attacks bring the death toll across the country this month to 134, according to an Associated Press count.
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