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  Updated: January 20, 2008

Qoti’lal Husseino Bi Karbala … 7 million mark Ashura in Iraq

By: Ismail Zabeeh

HOLY CITY OF KARBALA, Iraq: Amid tight security, an estimated 7 million Husseini mourners jam packed the holy city of Karbala that is home to the holy shrine of Al-Imam Al-Hussein (AS) and his brother Abo’ Fadhl Al-Abbas (AS) to commemorate Ashura – the tenth day of Moharram – on Saturday January 19.

Mourners from across the country and other states thronged streets and alleyway s for ceremonies mourning the slaying over 14 centuries ago of the Prophet Mohammad (SW)'s grandson Imam Hussein (AS).

Among the mourners were thousands of men wearing white robes, who marched through the streets striking their heads with swords to gush out blood to show their grief at the brutal unjust killing of Imam Hussein (AS) and to honor the Imam (AS)’s matchless sacrifice.

Blood flowed down their robes. Others beat their chests to the sound of drums and elegies. Medics carrying first aid kits walked through the crowd, ready to staunch head wounds.

Officials said 25,000 Iraqi police and soldiers were deployed across Karbala. Iraqi helicopters circled over Kerbala, which was under a total vehicle curfew.

Ashura ceremonies were also held in other cities including holy cities of Najaf and Kadhimiyah.        

Husseinis converging on Karbala as Ashura climaxes

HOLY KARBALA, Iraq: Iraqi authorities have launched a major operation to protect pilgrims attending one of the world's largest religious events - Ashura.

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