Death Toll At 56 In Iraq Suicide Bombing

BAGHDAD (AP) — A roadside bomb has killed four Shiite pilgrims on the outskirts of Baghdad, while the death toll from a suicide attack Sunday has risen to 56.

In all, extremists have attacked Shiite pilgrims heading to the holy city of Karbala, south of Baghdad, three times in the past two days, killing at least 63 people.

Karbala is the burial site of one of Shiite Islam’s most revered figures. Ceremonies on Wednesday will mark the end of a 40-day mourning period after the anniversary of his death.

The U.S. embassy in Baghdad and the American military have issued a joint statement condemning the attacks.

Suspected Sunni insurgents led by al-Qaida in Iraq have frequently targeted Shiite commemorations in an effort to stoke sectarian violence.