10 pilgrims killed in bus explosion in Iran

A bus carrying Iranian pilgrims exploded near Baghdad on Saturday morning, leading to five dead and 12 injured, while five others were killed by a roadside bomb in northeastern the capital.

The first explosion was caused by a sticky-bomb attached to the bus in Taji area, some 20 km north of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. The Iranian pilgrims were heading to a Shiite shrine in Baghdad to mark the major Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, he said.

In a separate incident, five were killed and 13 others wounded when a roadside bomb ripped through a popular market in Mameal area in northeastern Baghdad, the source added. Religious festivals and annual holidays are usually marked by a spike of violence in Iraq. The country, still ridden with unrest, had seen a relative peace during recent weeks.

 Meawhile, reports emnating from Brussels on Saturday said that Iran has canceled a European Parliament delegation visit to Tehran after the group asked to meet two Iranian activists awarded a top EU rights prize, a parliament spokeswoman said on Saturday.

The decision came after senior officials at the parliament, which on Friday awarded its Sakharov prize for human rights and freedom of thought to human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and filmmaker Jafar Panahi, said they wanted the delegation to meet the two activists.

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