Baghdad: At least 56 people were killed and many others injured in Iraq after a series of car bombings rattled the capital city of Baghdad Wednesday morning, a news agency reported.
The apparently coordinated bombings occurred ahead of a Shia religious festival Friday as tens of thousands of pilgrims march to Baghdad to observe the death of Imam Kadhum at his shrine on this occasion.
According to a police source, the first explosions occurred in downtown Hilla, some 100 km from Baghdad. Two car bombs detonated near a restaurant in central Hilla and killed at least 20 people, wounding 38 others.
At least five more bombings then ensued in and near Baghdad, local police sources said.
Two car bombs exploded in Baghdad's central district of Karrada, killing at least 15 people and injuring dozens of others.
Two car bombs in south Baghdad left five more people killed. A fifth explosion in Baghdad's northern district of Kadimya left seven killed and 20 others wounded.
According to sources, the toll could rise while the rescue work continued.