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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.

Agencies

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Far-West Province has high potential: Minister Bhatta

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BAITADI— Minister for Industry, Tourism, Forests and Environment of Far-West Province Maya Bhatta has said that Far-West Province has high potentials for development.

At an orientation programme for journalists in Baitadi on Saturday, Bhatta said that the Far-West Province has high chance for religious tourism.

On the occasion, Province Minister Bhatta feted Far-West Provincial Chairman of National Association of Tourism Journalists (NATOJ) Amar Raj Bhattarai and newly-elected Chairman of Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) Baitadi chapter Mahesh Prasad Awasthi.

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