A female suicide bomber walking among Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad detonated an explosives belt killing at least 54 people and wounding more than 122.
The bombing was the first major strike this year against pilgrims making their way to the southern city of Karbala to mark a Shiite holy day. It came as security official warned of a possible increase in attacks by insurgents using new tactics to bypass bomb-detection methods.
The bombing raises fears of an escalation of attacks as hundreds of thousands of Shiites head by Friday to the southern holy city of Karbala to mark the end of 40 days of mourning following the anniversary of the death Imam Hussein, a revered Shiite figure.
The bomber hid the explosives underneath an abaya—a black cloak worn from head to toe by women—as she joined a group of pilgrims on the outskirts of Baghdad’s Shiite-dominated neighborhood of Shaab, said Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, top military spokesman.
Al-Moussawi warned insurgent groups were using new tactics to smuggle explosives past security forces. “Terrorist groups have come up with ways to hide explosive substances that cannot be detected with bomb detector sets.” BREITBART
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