Iraqi security forces say they defused nine bombs in the city of Karbala as hundreds of thousands of Shia Muslims gathered for a religious festival.**********
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki praised the "exceptional efforts" of security forces in averting attacks on pilgrims taking part in the Ashura festival.
Iraqi officials said five pilgrims were killed and 15 injured when a bomb blast hit a procession in Tuz Khormato, near Kirkuk in north-east Iraq on Sunday.
UPDATE: Yet another holiday blast
-- KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) -- A suicide bombing targeting a Shiite Muslim procession in Pakistan’s largest city of Karachi killed 30 people and wounded dozens more Monday, as Shiites across the country marked the key holy day of Ashoura.Yup... I say we just blame the Jews.
Outraged Shiites responded by setting fire to buildings and vehicles at the blast site and hurling stones at security forces who had been guarding the march for their failure to prevent the attack.