- Title: IRAQ: Shi'ite Muslims pay visit to cemetery in Najaf amid tight security
- Date: 9th December 2008
- Summary: VEILED WOMEN IN CEMETERY
- Embargoed: 24th December 2008 12:00
- Location: Iraq
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Religion
- Reuters ID: LVABIOQCQT4CQ0V685J6TJIVZTP1
- Story Text: Iraqi security forces were on high alert and thousands of policemen were deployed in the Shi'ite holy city of Najaf on Tuesday (December 9) as millions of Sunnis were celebrating Eid al-Adha across the country.
Mourners gathered in the Valley of Peace cemetery to visit graves of their relatives in Najaf, 160 km (100 miles) south of Baghdad. It is a tradition carried by Muslim families to visit cemeteries around the time of the holiday to pray for the deceased.
A police commander said forces have stepped up vigilance in the city to prevent car bombs.
"Today the police forces at the ministry of interior are on high alert one hundred percent. God willing, we will work from today to detect explosives, drugs and we will also work to uncover the unregistered vehicles at the traffic police," he said at Najaf's police headquarters.
Iraq's Sunnis joined the majority of world Muslims in celebration of the first day of Eid al-Adha, or feast of sacrifice, on Monday (December 8).
Iraq's majority Shi'ites loyal to Iraq's most prominent cleric will mark the four-day festival on Tuesday (December 10).
The cemetery in the Iraqi holy city of Najaf is one of the largest in the world, and is the coveted final resting place for Shiite Muslims from around the globe.
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