The coordinated attacks targeting Shiites bore the hallmarks of Sunni insurgents linked to al-Qaida, although there was no immediate claim of responsibility.
The bombings began early in the morning when explosions struck two Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad, killing at least 27 people. A few hours later, a suicide attack hit Shiite pilgrims heading to the holy Shiite city of Karbala, killing 45, said provincial official Quosay al-Abadi. The explosions took place near Nasiriyah, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad. Hospital officials confirmed the causalities.
The blasts occurred in the run-up to Arbaeen, a Shiite holy day which marks the end of 40 days of mourning that follow the anniversary of the death of Imam Hussein, a revered Shiite figure. During this time, Shiite pilgrims from across Iraq make their way to Karbala, south of Baghdad.