Baghdad: At least 13 people were killed and 37 injured in violent incidents across Iraq Sunday even as hundreds of thousands of Shiite pilgrims ended a relatively peaceful religious ritual at the holy golden-domed shrine amid tightened security, security and medical sources said.
Every year, Shiite pilgrims gather at the mausoleum of Imam Musa al-Kadhim in Baghdad`s northern district of Kadhmiyah to commemorate the death of one of the most revered Shiite imams, Xinhua reported.
During the last few days, a number of pilgrims from Iraqi cities, as well as other Muslim countries, flocked to Kadhmiyah`s mausoleum to observe the annual commemoration of the imam who was poisoned to death while in prison in the year 977 AD.
According to Iraq`s official estimates, over 8 million pilgrims visited the shrine, which culminated Saturday and ended Sunday noon.
Iraqi authorities had deployed thousands of Iraqi security troops, who set up checkpoints and patrolled routes of the worshippers as they trekked across Baghdad and the main roads leading to the capital, while army helicopters hovered overhead.
Meanwhile, eight people were killed and 26 wounded by artillery and mortar shelling on several neighbourhoods in the militant-seized city of Fallujah, a medical source from the city hospital said.
In a separate incident, a roadside bomb detonated near a police patrol in Haditha city, leaving two policemen dead and four wounded, a provincial police source said.
Also in the province, a policeman and his son were wounded when assailants detonated a bomb in their house, while two policemen were wounded when militants threw hand grenades on their patrol in the city, the source added.
In Salahudin province, two soldiers were shot dead by gunmen who attacked their base near the city of Tikrit, a provincial police source said.
Also in the province, a brigadier-rank officer escaped unharmed a twin roadside bomb explosions near his convoy in northern Tikrit, but two of his bodyguards were wounded, the source said.
In Diyala proivince, Yas al-Timimi, head of the provincial Accountability and Justice Commission, was seriously injured when a sticky bomb attached to his car exploded in Baquba city, a provincial police source said.
In a separate incident, security forces clashed with a gunman in the province and shot him dead in Hinbus area, the source added.