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Attacks kill three in Iraq ahead of Shiite ceremony
[Al Ahram] A boom-mobile killed two pilgrims Wednesday in Iraq on the eve of a major Shiite religious ceremony and the nephew of the parliament speaker died in a separate attack, officials said.

No group grabbed credit for the bloodshed, but Sunni beturbanned goons often target Shiite pilgrims in the run-up to major rituals and attack officials in a bid to destabilise the government.

The pilgrims were killed when a boom-mobile went kaboom! as they were walking to the shrine city of Karbala to take part in Shiite Arbaeen ceremonies due to climax on Thursday, police and a doctor said. Eight other pilgrims were maimed.

Arbaeen marks 40 days after the Ashura anniversary commemorating the slaying of Imam Hussein, one of Shiite Islam's most revered figures, by the armies of the caliph Yazid in 680 AD.

In the northern city of djinn-infested Mosul, gunfire killed the nephew of Iraq's parliament speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, a Sunni politician, a police officer and a doctor said. The youth was the son of Nujaifi's brother and bodyguard Khaled.

The precise circumstances of the shooting were not immediately clear.

And a day earlier, gunnies rubbed out three coppers in the town of Tarmiyah, north of Storied Baghdad
...located along the Tigris River, founded in the 8th century, home of the Abbasid Caliphate...
, officials said.

The violence came amid political tensions between Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and a secular-backed party in his fragile national unity government.
Posted by:Fred