July 9 (Reuters) – A suicide car bomber killed five people, including three Iraqi army officers, and wounded 18 on Friday in Baghdad, police said, after a series of attacks aimed at Iraqi Shi’ite pilgrims killed dozens in recent days.
The blast took place near an Iraqi army checkpoint in the mainly-Sunni Ghazaliya district of western Baghdad, police said. Out of the 18 wounded, at least two were army personnel, police said.
Thousands of Shi’ite pilgrims have trudged resolutely through blood-spattered streets over the past few days in an annual ritual paying homage to the Shi’ite Imam Moussa al-Kadhim, despite suicide and roadside bombs that killed at least 38 and wounded hundreds. [ID:nLDE66711T]
Iraq is on high alert for insurgent attacks after a March 7 national election produced no clear winner and left the country adrift in political uncertainty.
Overall violence has dropped sharply since the height of sectarian carnage in 2006-7. But daily bombings and killings continue, suggesting insurgents are trying to exploit the vacuum as political rivals jostle for power. (Reporting by Baghdad newsroom; Editing by Rania El Gamal and Jon Boyle)