A wave of attacks against Shiite Muslims in Iraq killed at least 47 people and wounded dozens on Thursday, security officials said, as they were marking the holy day of Ashura, which commemorates the killing of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, 1,300 years ago.
In the worst violence, 35 people were killed and 75 wounded in Diyala Province, northeast of Baghdad, when a suicide bomber blew himself up at an arena where a crowd had gathered to watch a play about the death of Imam Hussein. Women, children and actors in the play were among the dead.
One witness, Mohammed Saadoun, 40, said the explosion took place at the end of the death scene. “I saw those who were acting out the death had died in reality,” he said in an interview. “They were on the ground covered with blood.”