A female suicide bomber detonated an explosive vest Sunday, killing at least 38 people and wounding another 65 near a checkpoint outside the Imam Moussa al-Kadhim shrine in Kadhimiya.
The Iranian Press TV said most of the casualties were Iranian pilgrims who had traveled to Iraq to prepare for Ashura Wednesday, which commemorates the death of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the prophet Mohammad.
"These actions, which are in contradiction with the principles of Islam and humanity, serve the interests of the enemies of Muslims and their religion," said Hassan Qashqavi, the spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry.
For his part, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani attributed the attack to the "dark hand of terror."
The top U.N. envoy to Iraq, Staffan de Mistura, meanwhile, condemned the attack as "appalling and unjustified."
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