“There’s still a tendency to see these things in Sunni-Shia terms. But the Middle East is going to have to overcome that.” – Condoleezza Rice, January 2007.
“Bombs targeting pilgrims kill 22 in Iraq’s Hilla,” from Reuters, December 5:
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Three bombs tore through crowds of Shi’ite pilgrims celebrating a major ritual in Iraq’s Hilla city on Monday, killing least 22 – mostly women and children – and wounding 60 more, local police and witnesses said.
The attacks, at the height of Ashura, which commemorates the death of Prophet Mohammad’s grandson Imam Hussein and defines Shi’ite Islam, underscored Iraq’s fragile security as the last U.S. troops withdraw from the country by the end of the year.
In the first attack, a car bomb blasted the end of one Shi’ite procession, killing 16 mainly women and children, wounding 45 others and leaving bloody pools, shoes and tore clothes scattered across the street, police and witnesses said.
“A powerful and horrible explosion went off behind us, smoke filled the area,” said Hadi al-Mamouri, who was taking part in the ritual. “I could only hear the screams of women and I could only see the bodies of women and children on the street.”
A second attack involving two roadside bombs killed at least six more people at another procession in Hilla and wounded 15 more, police sources said….