BAGHDAD – Two car bombs in Iraq’s capital killed at least 26 people Saturday on the last day of a Shiite pilgrimage already hit by multiple bombings. The blasts, one in a heavily guarded area close to a revered shrine, raised the week’s death toll to more than 100 and cast further doubt on the divided government’s ability to secure the country after the American withdrawal.
Black plumes of smoke filled the sky over Baghdad’s northern Kazimiyah neighborhood, where the shrine to eighth-century saint Imam Moussa al-Kadhim draws hundreds of thousands of pilgrims each year. One of the bombs tore into throngs of people who packed the streets nearby, carrying aloft symbolic coffins and beating their chests in mourning to mark his martyrdom.
Three days before, nearly two dozen coordinated bombs around the country killed 72 people. Al-Qaida’s Iraqi affiliate on Saturday claimed responsibility for that attack, which marked one of the deadliest days in Iraq since the last U.S. troops left in December.
Radiohead stage collapses, killing 1
TORONTO – A massive stage collapse hours before a Radiohead concert was to begin Saturday left one person dead and three others injured, officials said.
Emergency Medical Services deputy commander David Viljakainen said a man who was trapped under the rubble was pronounced dead at the scene. Officials said he was in his mid-30s.
A 45-year-old man was hospitalized with a head injury and two others were treated at the scene for minor injuries at the Downsview Park venue, said Viljakainen.
The venue said on its website that the sold-out concert was canceled.
Fire Services Platoon Chief Tony Bellavance said officials were alerted to a person trapped under the rubble and crews assisted in extracting the victim. “It was a crushing injury that killed the man,” he said.
Police spokesman Tony Vella said crews were setting up the stage when it collapsed.
Radiohead tweeted that “due to unforeseen circumstances tonight’s concert at downsview park tonight has been canceled. Fans are advised not to make their way to the venue.”