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Iraq suicide bomber kills 8 near Karbala shrine

February 13, 2009|Associated Press

BAGHDAD — A suicide bomber detonated an explosives belt packed with nails among Shiite Muslim worshipers Thursday in Karbala, killing eight pilgrims and wounding 52, police and hospital officials said.

The blast was about 200 yards from the Imam Hussein shrine, the focal point of ceremonies that culminate Monday and draw hundreds of thousands of worshipers.

At least 12 people were killed Wednesday and more than 40 wounded in bombings in Baghdad that targeted Shiite pilgrims traveling to Karbala, 50 miles to the south.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Army released a statement Thursday saying it had dropped charges against a soldier of conspiracy to commit premeditated murder in the deaths of four bound and blindfolded Iraqis in 2007.

The Army gave no reason for the dismissal of charges against Staff Sgt. Jess Cunningham of Bakersfield.

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