Note again the absence of an active agent in the headline. Mainstream media reporters routinely write stories like this one as if these things just happen, like an earthquake or a lightning strike. Anything to avoid shedding too much unwelcome light on the reality of jihad violence. “Scores killed in Iraq bloodshed ahead of Shiite holy day,” by Ghazwan Hassan for Reuters, December 16 (thanks to Kenneth):
TIKRIT – Suicide bombers and gunmen killed scores of people in Iraq on Monday in attacks mostly targeting Shiite Muslim pilgrims and official buildings ahead of a major Shiite ritual next week.
Al Qaeda-linked Sunni Muslim militants have intensified attacks on the security forces, civilians and anyone seen as supporting the Shi’ite-led government in Baghdad, tipping Iraq back into its deadliest levels of violence in five years.
The first major attack of the day came in Baiji, 110 miles north of Baghdad, when four men wearing explosive belts took over a police station after detonating a car bomb outside, police sources said.
Two blew themselves up inside the station, killing five policemen. The other two did the same about an hour later as Iraqi special forces counter-attacked, the sources said.
“We believe the attack was aimed at freeing detainees who are being held in the building next door,” said Major Salih al-Qaisi, a police officer at the scene.
“All the militants were killed before they reached the police department building where the detainees are held.”
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but suicide bombings are the trademark of al Qaeda’s Iraqi wing, which merged this year with its Syrian counterpart to form the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Two hours later, three suicide bombers seized the local council building in Tikrit, 95 miles north of the capital, after setting off two car bombs outside, security sources said. At least three people were killed.
Security forces surrounded the building, where the militants were thought to be holding hostages, and imposed a curfew on the city, the sources said.
The Interior Ministry put the toll for the attacks in Baiji and Tikrit at 11 dead, including the suicide bombers, and three wounded.
Later in the evening, two car bombs and a roadside bomb exploded near a funeral tent in the town of Yusfiya, 20 km south of Baghdad, killing at least 24 Shi’ite pilgrims, police said.
Another roadside bomb killed five pilgrims in southern Baghdad’s mainly Shiite Abu Dsheer district, adding to a spate of bombings in mainly Shi’ite neighbourhoods of the capital that killed at least 27 people earlier in the day.
Security services have been on high alert since last week because they expect more attacks on Shiites before Iraq’s majority community marks the ritual of Arbaeen, commemorating the death of Imam Hussein, grandson of Prophet Mohammad.
Shiites are considered apostates by Sunni militants, whose resurgence is blamed by the government partly on the impact of the increasingly sectarian war in neighbouring Syria….
And according to all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence (contrary to the bland denials of Islamic apologists in the West), apostates must be killed.