A suicide bomber who detonated his explosives near one of Shiite Islam’s holiest shrines killed more than 40 people today.The blast, near the Imam Hussein shrine in central Karbala, 50 miles south of Baghdad, killed 41 and injured 16, said Adel al-Azawi, the deputy director of Karbala’s health department.
Karbala’s governor, Aqeel al-Khazraji, said 44 were killed and 48 injured.Pools of blood could be seen at the blast site, and television images showed men ferrying the wounded in push carts.
The bomber appeared to have set off the explosion only about 30 yards from the shrine, in a busy pedestrian area surrounded by shops.Karbala has been relatively free of violence since December 2004, when seven people were killed and 31 wounded in an attack.
In March of that year, co-ordinated attacks from suicide bombers and pre-set explosions on Karbala’s holy sites killed more than 100, reports Ireland Online. I.L.