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IS plants 'baby doll bombs' on road to Karbala Open in fullscreen

Paul McLoughlin

IS plants 'baby doll bombs' on road to Karbala

Around ten booby trapped dolls were discovered by the Iraqi army [Iraq Live Updates]

Date of publication: 20 November, 2015

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Blog: In a north Baghdad suburb, Iraqi army units have discovered a horrifying series of booby traps - toy dolls rigged with explosives reportedly aimed at killing Shia children.
Beside a pool of muddy water and scattered rubbish, intelligence units from Iraq's 43rd Brigade carefully laid down ten toy dolls in a straight line for photographers.
 
On Thursday, a box of dolls were found by the army unit in Rashidiya, a mostly Sunni town north of Baghdad, packed with explosives.

In 13 days, a major religious event will take place in Karbala to commemorate the death of Hussein ibn Ali, a figure of veneration in Shia Islam.

In the coming days, thousands of Iraqi Shia pilgrims, mostly from Diyala province, will pass through the Rashidya area on foot to reach the holy city where the Prophet Mohammed's grandson was killed in battle.

The toys' plastic bodies were carefully dissected, limb-by-limb, revealing explosives, timers, and triggers, designed to go off in the hands of curious children among the throngs of pilgrims.

Although Shia children were the obvious target of the Islamic State group - who the Iraqi army say were responsible for this disturbing booby trap - bombs do not discriminate and could have killed anyone.

The Islamic State group - and al-Qaeda before them - have previously rigged toys, mobile phones, Qurans and torches.

The aim has been to kill innocent Iraqis and spark a wave of revulsion, which could further ramp up tensions between the country's Sunni and Shia communities.

The latest targeting of children is part of a horrifying campaign of terror launched by a militarily weakened IS in the past week.

On 13 November a bomb exploded in Baghdad, killing 26 Iraqis at a mosque during the funeral of a Shia militant killed in battle with IS.

A day earlier, IS targeted a mixed Shia district in south Beirut, killing 43 residents.
 
The discovery of "doll-bombs" does not bode well for the upcoming Arbaen commemorations, forty days after the Day of Ashura. 

The event could see as many 17 million Shia Muslims pack Karbala to mark the event.

Although security will undoubtedly be tight, there are fears that IS will use any means to kill, maim and slaughter civilians and spark revenge attacks against Sunnis who are reportedly becoming disillusioned with the extremist group's brutality.

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