Bombs rock Iraq, yet thousands make it to Karbala

Bombs rock Iraq, yet thousands make it to Karbala
Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:37:36

Two near-simultaneous bombings against a Shia procession tent south of Baghdad have left at least eight people dead and dozens wounded, officials said.

The violence comes during the peak of Ashura commemoration rituals that mark the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS), the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), when militants typically step up attacks on Iraq's majority community.

The attacks struck in the town of Hafriyah, in Wasit province south of Baghdad, as worshippers were gathering inside a tent where Shiites were mourning to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS).

The third Imam was martyred by the armies of caliph Yazid in 680 AD.

Millions of Shias from Iraq and around the world mark Ashura, which this year climaxes on Thursday, by setting up procession tents where food is distributed to passers-by and where pilgrims can gather.

Millions of people make the pilgrimage, many on foot, to the Iraqi city of Karbala, which is home to a shrine to Imam Hussein (AS).

Shiite Muslims from around the world thronged an Iraqi shrine city on Thursday amid heavy security after attacks killed 17 worshippers during annual commemoration rituals often targeted by Sunni militants.

The Ashura ceremonies came amid a months-long surge in violence nationwide that has forced Baghdad to appeal for help from foreigners in combating militancy.

A car bomb also targeted a man distributing food in the northern city of Kirkuk, leaving eight wounded on Wednesday.


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