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In Iraq, as many as 140 Shiite Muslims have been killed in coordinated bombings today that targeted Shiites celebrating the sect’s holiest day of the year. CNN is reporting 85 people died and hundreds were wounded in Karbala. And at least 50 died in Baghdad. Other news agencies put the total death toll closer to 100. A U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad and an Iraqi police spokesman in Karbala reported that mortars were fired at the religious shrines. The bombings came as Shittes celebrated the festival of Ashura to commemorate the death of the Prophet Mohammad’s grandson Imam Hussein who was killed in Karbala in the year 680.
Meanwhile in Pakistan, at least another 17 Shiite Muslims were killed during a religious procession in southwestern Pakistan
USA Today is reporting that the United Nations will release a report today concluding that Iraq had destroyed all of weapons of mass destruction by 1994. The report is based on several years on UN weapons inspections and public comments by the former chief US weapons inspector David Kay.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has ordered 18,000 National Guard soldiers be alerted for possible duty in Iraq. According to the Washington Post, the Guard has now mobilized more than 143,000 members overseas since Sept. 11, 2001 marking the biggest foreign deployment since World War II.
On the campaign trail, voters go to the polls in 10 states today in what is known as Super Tuesday. Political analysts say that unless Senator John Edwards wins at least one state today it will be nearly impossible to catch frontrunner John Kerry. Polls show Kerry winning every state.
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