Tikrit (Iraq), Feb 21 (IANS) At least 12 people were killed and 18 injured Monday in a suicide car bomb attack targeting security forces in Iraq, Xinhua reported.
The attack occurred in Salahudin province’s Samarra city, some 110 km north of Baghdad, when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into a military base belonging to a quick reaction police force, a provincial police source said.
The attack hit the police force tasked with protecting Shia pilgrims who usually come to the Sunni-dominated city of Samarra to visit the al-Askari shrine, the source from Salahudin’s provincial operations command told Xinhua.
The shrine, which contains the tombs of Ali al-Hadi and Hisson Hassan al-Askari, the 10th and 11th of the Shia’s 12 most revered Imams, is visited by Shia pilgrims from all over the world.
Samarra has been relatively calm for more than three years after Sunni tribes and powerful anti-US insurgent groups turned to cooperate with the US troops and Iraqi security forces against Al Qaeda network in Iraq.
However, insurgents frequently attacked Shia pilgrims who perform communal rituals in the Iraqi cities, killing and wounding dozens of them in attempts to provoke sectarian strife in the violence-shattered country.