Baghdad - Violence including an attack on Shi'ite pilgrims in Baghdad killed at least 73 people across Iraq on Saturday, among them two journalists gunned down in the north, officials said.
Violence is at a level unseen since 2008, and there are persistent fears that Iraq will relapse into the kind of intense Sunni-Shi'ite bloodshed that peaked in 2006-2007 and killed tens of thousands of people.
Accounts differed as to whether the attack on the pilgrims in the Adhamiyah area of north Baghdad, which killed at least 49 people and wounded at least 75, was a bomb followed by a suicide bombing, or a suicide attack alone.
It came as pilgrims walked to a shrine to commemorate the death of Imam Mohammed al-Jawad, the ninth Shi'ite imam.
Iraq is home to some of the holiest sites in Shi'ite Islam, and millions of pilgrims visit them each year.
But crowds of pilgrims are frequently targeted by Sunni militants including those linked to al-Qaeda, who consider Shi'ites to be apostates.