Attacks on Shi'ite Muslims killed at least 59 people across Iraq on Thursday (October 17), including a suicide truck bomb targeting members of the country's Shabak minority, police and medics said. Shabaks are mainly Shi'ite.

Ten bombs exploded in primarily Shi'ite districts of the Iraqi capital late on Thursday, killing 44 people in all, police and medics said.

Two restaurants in the al-Maamel district in eastern Baghdad were hit by car bomb blasts, as was the district of Grayat in the north of the city.

Sinaa street in central Baghdad, and the districts of Husseiniya, al-Jidida, al-Dora, al-Shurta, al-Rabi'a and al-Bayaa were also targeted by car bombs, said the police.

They said that the blast near restaurants in the poor Shi'ite district of eastern district of Al-Maamel killed six children and wounded 14 others, while two other car bomb attacks in the Grayat district killed at least three people and wounded 18 others.

People in al-Maamel and Grayat started to clear glass and debris left by blasts.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for any of the attacks, but Shi'ites are viewed as apostates by hardline Sunni Islamists who have been regrouping and gathering pace in an insurgency this year. Most of the attacks targeted amusement parks and restaurants where families and children usually go to celebrate the Muslim holy festival of Eid al-Adha.

Earlier in the day, a suicide bomber driving a truck packed with explosives blew himself up in a village in the northern province of Nineveh, killing at least 15 Shabaks.

The village of Mwafaqiya, where the bomber struck, is home to many Shabak families who used to live in the provincial capital Mosul but fled the city after being threatened by militant groups

Militants linked to al Qaeda have in the past attacked Shabaks.


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