Grenade Attack on Baghdad’s Al-Aimmah Bridge Leaves One Dead, 30 Wounded

At least a woman has been killed and 30 other people sustained injuries after an explosion hit an area near the al-Aimmah bridge north of Baghdad, according to Iraqi sources, Press TV reports.

The Iraqi security media cell said security forces are investigating the incident that happened on Monday evening. The explosion was caused by two hand grenades that detonated in a garbage dump near the bridge, sources said.

The Iraqi news website Al-Ma’aloumah says the explosion struck the path used by Shia pilgrims to visit the holy shrine of their seventh imam, Musa al-Kadhim (PBUH), whose martyrdom anniversary falls on March 9 this year, in al-Kadhimiya region.

Iraq’s intelligence agency said it had arrested three members of a terror cell earlier in the day who were planning a suicide attack on pilgrims of Imam al-Kadhim. Baghdad’s Operation Command said the pilgrims will continue their annual march to the mosque.

A few hours after the incident, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi also visited the scene of the explosion. The Monday explosion came the same day Pope Francis left Baghdad after a historic three-day visit to Iraq.

Today is the anniversary of the martyrdom of Musa al-Kadhim, a Muslim scholar respected by both Sunnis and Shiites, but who holds special reverence for Twelver Shiites. Large numbers of pilgrims are expected at the Al-Kadhimiya mosque located near where the attack happened.

SecMedCell later noted that one person had died in the attack, while three others required surgery. Video purported to be authentic was shared on social media, showing the arrest of a suspect following the attack.

​In 2005, a stampede on the bridge killed nearly 1,000 pilgrims who were either trampled or died after the bridge’s sides gave way, making them fall into the Tigris River. According to media reports, the incident was provoked by rumors of an imminent suicide bomb attack on the procession, as the incident took place during the US occupation of Iraq.