Bodies of some Iranian victims in Iraqi attack return home 2009-07-23 00:38:49   Print

    TEHRAN, July 22(Xinhua) -- The bodies of five Iranian pilgrims as well as seven injured in a Tuesday attack in Iraq were brought home, Governor of Iran's western border city of Qasr-e-Shirin Bahram Teymouri said on Wednesday.

    "The bodies of five, including two men and three women, and the injured, including four men and three women, were transported to the country on Wednesday," Teymouri told the official IRNA news agency.

    Earlier on Wednesday, an official of Iran's Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization said that six Iranian pilgrims were killed and 31 others wounded in a "terrorist" attack in Iraq.

    "Six Iranian pilgrims were martyred and 31 others wounded (in an) attack by several Iraqi terrorists Tuesday evening," Masoud Akhavan was quoted by IRNA as saying.

    The "terrorist" attack on the buses of the pilgrims occurred at 23:00 local time (1830 GMT), 30 km from the Iraqi city of Khaneqin, Akhavan said.

    A convoy of 10 buses carrying Iranian pilgrims entered the Iraqi territory legally on Tuesday evening and the buses were en route to Baghdad when three of them were attacked by armed men, according to the report.

    Earlier in the day, a police source in Iraq's Diyala province told Xinhua that gunmen ambushed a bus carrying Iranian pilgrims at the Imam Weiss area, about 45 km northeast of the provincial capital Baquba, early Wednesday morning.

    The unidentified gunmen shot dead five pilgrims and wounded 32 others, said the source who declined to give his name, adding that some of the wounded were in critical conditions.

    No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

    In April, Iran's English daily Tehran Times reported that at least 78 Iranian pilgrims were killed in bloody suicide attacks in Iraq.

    Thousands of pilgrims from predominantly Shiite Iran regularly visit holy shrines in Iraq. Pilgrimages to Iraq's holy Shiite sites were halted throughout the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, and were only resumed in very limited numbers at the end of the 1990s. 

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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