Attacks on Shi’ites in Iraq. Sunnis holding hostages in Iran. Things fall apart, the center cannot hold. From AP, with thanks to JE:
KARBALA, Iraq – Suicide bombers targeted Shiite pilgrims in the south and police recruits in central Iraq Thursday, killing almost 80 people in a stepped-up line of attacks.
Thursday’s bombings came a day after insurgents killed 53 people, including 32 killed by a suicide attacker at a Shiite funeral east of Baqouba.
The blast near the Imam Hussein shrine in central Karbala, 50 miles south of Baghdad, killed 49 people and injured 52, said Karbala police Col. Razaq al-Taie.
The site was a scene of chaos with men ferrying the wounded in push carts and pools of blood on the ground. The bomber appeared to have set off the explosion only about 30 yards from the shrine in a busy shopping area.
In Ramadi, police and hospital officials said at least 30 people were killed and 40 injured in a suicide attack on a line of police recruits.
The attack took place at a police screening center in Ramadi, an insurgent stronghold 70 miles west of Baghdad. At least 30 people were killed, said Mohammed al-Ani, a doctor at Ramadi General Hospital and police Capt. Nassir al-Alousi.