Iraqi security marked by Arbayin violence

Religious pilgrims are targeted in suicide attack that poses challenges to pre-election security and threatens to reverse recent security gains.

BAGHDAD - Iraq is on edge after escalating violence was topped Monday by a female suicide bomber targeting pilgrims en route to Karbala which killed at least 41 people and injured 106 on the outskirts of northern Baghdad.

The attack came ahead of elections scheduled for March 7 and mired in controversy over the right of many Sunni Muslim candidates to stand. Just a week ago vehicle-born suicide attackers targeted popular Baghdad hotels. The following day an investigations directorate of the Iraqi Interior Ministry was hit.

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