Official: Explosions kill 10 in holy Iraqi city

Official: Explosions kill 10 in holy Iraqi city

A local resident said he feared the attacks were another attempt by Sunni insurgents to ignite sectarian violence in the country. Government officials said a total of four explosions struck the city of Karbala around 10 am in a steady drumbeat over a five-minute period, meaning they likely were coordinated.

Two government officials from Karbala provincial councilman Hussein Shadhan al-Aboudi and parliamentarian Jawad Kadim al-Hassnawi said 10 people died in the blasts. The attacks were launched near an office that issues ID cards to Iraqi citizens and also about a half-mile from the city's gold-domed shrine to Imam Abbas. Two local police and hospital officials put the death toll at 11.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to release the information. The number of wounded people ranged from 40 to as high as 90.
Conflicting casualty tolls are common in the confusion that immediately follows large attacks in Iraq.

Raed al-Assali, a government employee in Karbala Investment Council said he feared the attacks were another strike by insurgents hoping to spark sectarian violence at a time when the city's Shiites are already simmering over the deaths of 22 pilgrims in a bus hijacking two weeks ago in the Sunni-dominated Anbar province.

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