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  Updated: December 27, 2009

Ashura commemoration on pinnacle in Imam Hussein city

By: Ismail Zabeeh

HOLY CITY OF KARBALA, Iraq: Despite constant terror attacks, millions of Husseini mourners on Saturday descended on the holy city of Karbala for the climax of Ashoura – Moharram 10 -commemorations on Sunday.

Black flags, representing the deep grief, were seen all over the city, 110 kilometres (70 miles) south of Baghdad, along with huge pictures of Al-Imam Al-Hussein (AS) and Abo’l Fadhl Al-Abbas (AS).

General Ali Jassim Mohammed, Karbala police chief, said that around 25,000 policemen and soldiers had been deployed to secure the commemoration ceremonies. Security forces have deployed 600 female personnel on three roads into the city. Cameras are also monitoring pilgrims' movements across Karbala.

Security perimeters have also been formed throughout the city, while helicopters are providing extra surveillance and bomb-sniffing dogs are being used at checkpoints.

According to traditions Al-Imam Al-Hussein (AS), a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (s), was brutally decapitated and his body mutilated by the armies of the caliph Yazid.

To signify their grief, the mourners slice their scalps during processions to the Karbala shrines. 

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