Attacks on Shiites and lawyers kill 19 in Iraq

A car bomb targeting Shiite pilgrims in Iraq and the shooting of a lawyer and his family left 19 people dead on Thursday, after al-Qaeda warned it would target lawyers and retake territory in a new campaign.

The attacks were the latest in an apparent spike in unrest since the beginning of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan, bringing to 88 the number of people killed so far this month.

In the deadliest incident, a vehicle packed with explosives ripped through a group of Shiite worshippers during a commemoration ceremony in Al-Tanmiyah village, around 50 km southeast of Baghdad.

The attack killed 11 people and wounded 20 others, according to a police lieutenant colonel and a medic, both of who declined to be identified. Most of the victims were men, the officials said.

Earlier, gunmen shot dead a lawyer, his judicial investigator son and six of their family members in a town north of Baghdad.

The shooting took place at the home of Khayrallah Shati, a lawyer in the town of Baiji, 200 km north of the capital, killing him, his wife, five sons and another relative who was staying with them.

“Khayrallah Shati, his wife and five sons, and a family guest staying with them, were killed early this morning in Baiji,” a police officer said on condition of anonymity.

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