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  Updated: March 7, 2007

Security further beefed up in Karbala; Al-Hakim flays Hilla slaughter

By: Ismail Zabeeh

HOLY KARBALA, Iraq: After the deadliest attacks on Husseini mourners in Hillah, Karbala's governor Aqeel al-Khazalie said 10,000 policeman were deployed in the holy city marking Arbaeen Al-Husseini.

The head of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, condemned the Hillah bombings in a statement issued Wednesday and called for more government security during the Arbaeen.

"We call on the security services of the central government and the local authorities ... to chase the masterminds who carry out these ugly crimes," al-Hakim said.

Al-Maliki issued a statement a day earlier, calling the Hillah bombings an "ugly crime against unarmed citizens" that "would not pass without punishment."

But some leaders have expressed anger at the government in the wake of the killings.

"The government bears some responsibility for this," complained a parliament member, Bahaa al-Araji. "It has not provided enough security to protect the pilgrims."

The commander of US troops in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad issued a joint statement Wednesday expressing "outrage at the cowardly and brutal acts of violence" against pilgrims.

"This heinous and brutal act demonstrates the lengths to which extremists will go in their attempts to terrorize devout Iraqi people," the statement said. "But the terrorists will not prevail. Make no mistake; Iraqi forces and their Coalition partners are committed to the security and safety of all Iraqis," it said.

  "Knowledge is better than wealth because it protects you while you have to guard wealth. it decreases if you keep on spending it but the more you make use of knowledge ,the more it increases . what you get through wealth disappears as soon as wealth disappears but what you achieve through knowledge will remain even after you."MORE ..  


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