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10 Shia pilgrims killed in Iraq

Baghdad : Ten Shia pilgrims were killed and 29 others injured in three attacks Saturday after they participated in a religious event in northern Iraq, police said.

Unidentified gunmen attacked convoys of pilgrims on a main road near the city of Balad, 80 km north of Baghdad, killing eight of them and wounding 15 others, Xinhua quoted a police source as saying.

On a bridge north of Balad, other group of unidentified gunmen opened fire on the pilgrims, killing one of them and injuring five others.

One pilgrim was killed and nine others were wounded after several districts in Samarra, 120 km north of Baghdad, came under mortar fire, police said.

The Shia pilgrims participated in the commemoration of the death of Imam Ali al-Hadi, one of the 12 holy imams in Shiite Islam.

The remains of Ali al-Hadi and his son Hasan al-Askari, also one of the 12 holy imams, rest at the al-Askari Mosque in Samarra.

According to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, a total of 8,868 Iraqis, including 7,818 civilians and civilian police personnel, were killed in 2013, the highest annual death toll in years.