BAGHDAD - A female suicide bomber killed 35 people and wounded 65 others on a religious march near the Kadhimiyah shrine in northern Baghdad on Sunday, a government official said.
"A woman wearing an explosive belt blew herself up near one of the gates of the shrine," Iraqi spokesman for security operations in Baghdad Major General Qassim Atta said.
"Accoding to our first preliminary report 35 were killed and 65 injured," Atta said, describing the force of the blast as "very big."
A defence ministry official said the attack came at about 11am (0800 GMT) as Iranian pilgrims took part in the procession related to the Ashura ceremonies that climax on January 7.
The festival is characterised by processions of wailing men beating their chests and engaged in devotional self-flagellation.
Iraq has descended into chaos, bordering on a civil war, as a direct result of the US-led invasion in 2003.