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  Updated: February 22, 2006

Azzam-Allaho Ojurana …Askariyain shrine destroyed in terror attack

By: Ismail Zabeeh

HOLY SAMARRA, Iraq: Azzam-Allaho Ojurana wa Ojurakom … A large explosion heavily damaged the glittering golden dome and Zarih of one of the most famous religious shrines– shrine of Imam Ali Naqi Al-Hadi and Imam Hasan Al-Askari (peace be upon them), 10th and 11th infallible descendants of holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his pure progeny), Wednesday in Samarra, sending millions of protesters pouring into the streets across the country including Holy Najaf.

Police believed an unknown number of people may have been buried under the debris after the 6:55 a.m. explosion at the Askariyain shrine.

The shrine, which draws millions of pilgrims from throughout the Islamic world, is near the place where the last of the 12 imams, Imam Al-Mahdi (peace be upon him), disappeared. Imam Al-Mahdi (peace be upon him), known as the "hidden imam," was the son and grandson of the two imams buried in the Askariya shrine.

National Security Adviser Mouwafak Ar-Rubaie said armed men wearing special forces uniforms broke inside the shrine and seized the guards, including policemen, responsible for protecting the site. The gunmen planted the explosives and fled, he said.

Thousands of demonstrators gathered near the holy shrine, waving Iraqi flags, religious banners and copies of the holy book Quran. They were carrying turban, shuield and sword of the Al-Imam Ali Al-Hadi (peace be upon him) which were kept safe in one of saradeeb of the holy shrine.

The golden dome was completed in 1905.


 
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