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48 killed, 249 wounded in Iraq bombings

BAGHDAD, July 28 (UPI) -- Suicide bombers in Kirkuk and Baghdad killed 48 people injured 249 others Monday, officials said.

In Kirkuk, a female suicide bomber and gunmen killed 24 people and injured at least 187 others attending a rally to protest an election law passed by the Iraqi parliament but rejected by the country's presidency council, CNN reported.

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During the rally, the bomber detonated the explosive among Kurdish demonstrators and gunmen began firing into the crowd from various positions, police reported. Kurdish officials blamed the violence on Turkmen minority extremists, and demonstrators responded by torching Turkmen-owned buildings, The New York Times said.

Meanwhile in Baghdad, three female suicide bombers killed at least 24 people and wounded 36 others, the Iraqi Interior Ministry said. Most were Shiite pilgrims The bombings in three locations occurred within 30 minutes of each other and targeted Shiite Muslims as they traveled to the Kadhimiya shrine in the north of Baghdad for annual ceremonies, the BBC reported.

The bombers struck as pilgrim convoys passed through the Karrada district.

On Sunday afternoon, seven pilgrims were killed in a town south of Baghdad, CNN reported.

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