BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Eight suicide bombings and other insurgent attacks across Iraq on Saturday killed at least 50 people, including a U.S. soldier, a Ministry of Defense official said, as Shiite Muslim worshippers celebrated their holiest day of the year.
The steady stream of attacks using suicide bombings, mortars and gunmen, defense ministry official Capt. Sabah Yasin said.
The death toll includes at least eight suicide bombers, who staged attacks in and around Baghdad, targeting religious gatherings and Iraqi checkpoints. Many more explosions were heard in the capital throughout the day.
In one of the deadliest attacks, a suicide bomber blew up his car at an Iraqi army checkpoint in Latifiya, 20 miles south of the capital, killing nine Iraqi soldiers, he said.
The attacks came one day after at least 36 people, mostly Shiites, were killed in a string of attacks.
Saturday's bombings, during the religious festival of Ashoura, occurred despite stepped-up security around the country. Authorities had hoped to prevent a repeat of last year's attacks during Ashoura in which insurgent blasts killed at least 181 people in Karbala and Baghdad.