Pakistan News Service

Thursday Apr 24, 2014, Jumada-al-thani 23, 1435 Hijri
Logo Logo
Pakistan News Home -> Iraq -> News Details

Shias pack Iraqi shrine city for mourning rituals

25 December, 2013

KARBALA: Shias from around Iraq and the world flooded the shrine city of Karbala on Tuesday for the peak of annual Arbaeen mourning rituals amid tight security after attacks killed dozens.

The central Iraq city saw millions of visitors over the 40-day period of mourning that follows the annual commemoration of the death of the Prophet Mohammed's grandson Hussein, who was slain by the forces of the caliph Yazid in 680 AD.

Karbala provincial council chief Nusaif al-Khatabi told AFP that 20 million people from some 40 countries made pilgrimages to Karbala this year, among them about one million Arabs and foreigners.

Last year around 18 million people made pilgrimages to Karbala, where Hussein is buried.

Army Staff Lieutenant General Othman al-Ghanimi said that 38,000 security forces members deployed to protect the faithful during the final 15 days of the pilgrimage.

But despite the security measures, militants were able to repeatedly strike pilgrims, many of whom make their way to Karbala on foot.

In some of the deadliest attacks, two car bombs south of Baghdad killed 24 people on December 16, while three suicide bombers attacked pilgrims three days later, leaving 36 people dead.

Sunni militants in Iraq including those linked to al Qaeda frequently target Shiites, whom they consider to be apostates.

"We challenged terrorism and we hope to die in the path of Hussein," said Jassem Jabr, 40, who spent 12 days walking to Karbala from south Iraq. "If only the politicians would learn from the revolution of Hussein, who revolted against injustice and corruption," Jabr said.

More than 10 years after US-led forces toppled dictator Saddam Hussein, Iraq remains plagued by woefully lacking security, poor services, corruption and political deadlock.

Violence in the country surged this year to levels not seen since 2008, when Iraq was just emerging from a brutal period of sectarian killings.

Since the beginning of the year, more than 6,650 people have been killed and over 16,000 wounded in violence, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources.


 What do you think about the story ? Leave your comments!

Heading (Optional)
Your Comments: *

Your Name:*
E-mail (Optional):
City (Optional):
Country (Optional):
Field marked(*) are mandatory.
Note. The PakTribune will publish as many comments as possible but cannot guarantee publication of all. PakTribune keeps its rights reserved to edit the comments for reasons of clarity, brevity and morality. The external links like http:// https:// etc... are not allowed for the time being to be posted inside comments to discourage spammers.

  Speak Out View All
Artilce 6 and Musharraf Trail
Blocking Nato supply line
  Quick Vote Show Results
Question: "In view of the current situation do you think Talks with Taliban should take place only within the ambit of Article 4 of Objectives Resolution that defines our Common Purpose i.e. PM/ President down to all Pakistanis to work till we achieve the rights of Democracy, Freedom, Tolerance and Social Justice for all Pakistanis:"
Candid Corner
Exclusive by
Lt. Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)
Drone kills 15 'Qaeda', three civilians in Yemen: security
Senior journalist Hamid Mir hurt in Karachi attack
Suggested Sites