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  Updated: March 8, 2009

Two month & eight day-long Husseini mourning period culminates

By: Ismail Zabeeh

HOLY SAMARRA, Iraq: With the observation of anniversary of martyrdom of Al-Imam Al-Hasan Al-Askary (AS) on Safar 8, the two month and eight day-long Husseini mourning period ended.

Main ceremony of the occasion was held at the holy shrine of Al-Imamayn Al-Askariyain in Samarra which is being rebuilt after it was twice destructed at the hands of terrorists.

Some four million mourners gathered at the shrine to commemorate the martyrdom anniversary for the first time since bombs ripped apart the sacred golden shrine, according to Haydar Al-Yacoubi, an official from Samarra, who quoted security sources.

Many among the pilgrims who streamed to the ruins of the shrine praised their Sunni hosts. They said tribal leaders in the area had put up tents filled with free food, drink and medical care along the roads leading to the holy site. Pilgrims said the security presence was so strong that they spent the day without fear.

Most pilgrims made the trip in packed buses, some traveling 14 hours.

Hassan Jawad , however, who's 40 and blind, walked 75 miles from Baghdad .

"This pilgrimage is part of our national reunification," he said. "How beautiful for all Iraqis Shiite and Sunni to share a common prayer."

Other grand majalis and processions to mark the occasion were witnessed in Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, United States, United Kingdom, Tanzania, Egypt, Nigeria, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Malaysia and many other countries.




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