Beliefnet
City of Brass

No, Iraq is not a “success”

Three homemade bombs exploded without warning in the midst of crowds who had stopped to gather for evening prayers Wednesday in southern Iraq’s Shiite holy city of Karbala, and the police and government officials said at least six people were killed and 45 wounded.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the explosions, which happened within minutes of each other at a shopping center, near a police checkpoint and inside a parking garage. All were located near the Husseni and Abbas shrines in Karbala, about 50 miles south of Baghdad.

The blasts struck areas crowded with people, but outside the security cordon that surrounds the shrines, said Amal al-Dheen al-Hir, governor of Karbala province.

Bombs targeting Shi’a in Karbala are nothing new, but this recent attack is of personal significance since many members of my own Dawoodi Bohra community are in Iraq attending the inauguration of the new masjid at Kufa, including members of my immediate family. A few years ago, one of my closest friends lost his father, also on pilgrimage to Karbala.

I am hearing from second-hand sources that none of our pilgrims were injured but am still waiting to hear from my family. This makes me angry, though – and more determined than ever to go to Karbala myself, sooner than later.

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