BAGHDAD, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- A series of deadly attacks targeting Shiites in Iraq on Monday killed 40 people and wounded 84 others.
In Karbala, four car bombs were detonated near the Shiite shrines of Imam Hussein and Imam Abbas. Twenty-two people were killed and 151 injured in the quadruple bombings.
Nusaif Jassim, head of the Karbala Provincial Council, believes the attacks were launched as "a response to the progress" the Iraqi Security Forces have had in repelling Islamic State militants from the strategically located town of Jurf al-Sakhr, located between Karbal and Anbar Province.
A suicide bomber attacked a small Shiite mosque in Baghdad during mid-day prayer on Monday. Authorities said that a guard at the mosque was shot and killed while trying to stop the bomber from entering the crowded mosque. The bomber shot and killed the imam and a worshiper before detonating his suicide vest, killing another 15 and wounding 33.
On Sunday, a suicide bomber targeted a Shiite mosque in Baghdad's al-Harthiya neighborhood, killing 21 and injuring 25.
Although no group has claimed responsibility for the bombings, they seemed to coincide with a meeting between Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.