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21 killed in bombings amid Shiite pilgrimage in Iraq

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BAGHDAD — At least 21 people have been killed in multiple bombings during an annual Shiite pilgrimage in Iraq’s capital of Baghdad.

Three bombs went off in and around Baghdad on Monday, with the Sunni radical group Islamic State claiming responsibility regarding the most deadly explosion.
The group said in an online statement distributed by supporters that a suicide bomber had targeted pilgrims. It said the attack was part of an offensive launched recently in apparent revenge for the killing of a senior leader.

Some of the victims were walking to the northern Baghdad shrine of Imam Musa Kadhim, whose death in 799 AD is an important date in the Shiite Muslim calendar and is commemorated annually.

IS militants fighting Iraqi forces in the north and west regularly target security personnel and Shiite civilians whom they consider apostates.

Islamic State’s Al Qaeda predecessor was blamed in the past for such attacks on Shiite pilgrims, including blasts in 2012 that left 70 people dead nationwide.

Security has gradually improved in Baghdad, which was the target of daily bombings a decade ago, but there has been a string of blasts in recent days, including a suicide attack on Saturday that killed at least 19 people.

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Over 70% of deep-sea fish of Atlantic Ocean have ingested plastic : Study

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Fragments of plastic are found throughout the world, from nearly every continent to nearly every body of water. But, researchers recently have found 73 percent of Northwest Atlantic deep-sea fish are also eating it — the highest reported frequency of plastic-eating fish in the world.

Plastic particles were found in some of the most remote parts of the Atlantic Ocean with almost three quarters of a sample of more than 230 deep-water fish collected by NUI Galway scientists having ingested plastic particles.

The contamination level among the fish species, located in the northwest Atlantic thousands of kilometres from land and 600m down in the ocean, is one of the highest reported frequencies of microplastic occurrence in fish worldwide, according to the study published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.

The NUIG scientists, as part of the study, participated in a transatlantic crossing onboard the marine institute’s Celtic Explorer vessel.

ALSO READ :  Islamic State selling, crucifying and killing, burying children alive in Iraq: UN

PhD candidate and lead author Alina Wieczorek said, “Deep-water fish migrate to the surface at night to feed on plankton [microscopic animals] and this is likely when they are exposed to the microplastics.”

During this research cruise they took dead deep-sea fish from midwater trawls such as the spotted lanternfish, rakery beaconlamp, stout saw-palate and scaly dragonfish.

Microplastics are small plastic fragments that commonly originate from the breakdown of larger plastic items entering the ocean. Other sources may be waste water effluents carrying plastic fibres from clothing and microbeads from personal care products. Due to their low density, most of these microplastics float at the sea surface.

The fish ranged in size from the smallest species the Glacier Lantern at 3.5cm to the largest species, the stout saw-palate at 59cm.

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