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File photo shows Muslim pilgrims praying at a Shia shrine in Baghdad, Iraq.—File Photo

BAGHDAD: At least seven Shia Muslim pilgrims from Iran and Pakistan were killed in Iraq on Saturday when a car bomb went off by a restaurant in a city north of the capital, police and hospital sources said.

The attack took place a few days into the holy month of Ashura, which is of special significance to Shia Muslims, who are targeted by al Qaeda’s Iraqi affiliate and other radical Islamic insurgents.

Police said a parked car blew up near a restaurant on the outskirts of Balad, 80 km north of Baghdad, killing the pilgrims, who were travelling back to the capital from Samarra.

A further 25 people were wounded in the blast, medics said.