Iraqi security kill 4 suicide bombers, who planned to target Shi’ite visitors

Shi’ite pilgrims beat their chests in a ceremony to mark the religious ritual of Arbaeen in Kerbala, about 80 km (50 miles) southwest of Baghdad, December 24, 2013. REUTERS/Mushtaq Muhammed

Baghdad ( – Iraqi authorities announced on Wednesday killing four suicide bombers, who planned to target Shi’ite visitors during the religious ritual of Arbaeen.

In a statement, a copy of which was obtained by Ayn Al Iraq website, the Baghdad Operations Command said that its security forces “launched preemptive security operations to foil any possible terrorist attacks against Shi’ite visitors.”

“The operations resulted in killing four suicide bombers in al-Radwania and al-Tarmia districts in Baghdad and arresting tens of terrorists, who were plotting to target the visitors,” the command said, adding that the security plan adopted to secure Arbaeen rituals this year was “successful”.

Arbaeen marks the end of a 40-day mourning period following Ashura, the religious ritual that commemorates the death of the Prophet Mohammad’s grandson Imam Hussein in 680.

Shi’ites are considered apostates by hardline Sunni Islamist insurgents.

Violence in the country has surged further with the emergence of Islamic State extremist militants who proclaimed an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014.

The surge in violence between armed groups and government forces has resulted in over five million internally displaced persons across Iraq and left more than 11 million in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

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