- Title: IRAQ: SECURITY HIGH DURING CLIMAX OF SHI'ITE RELIGIOUS FESTIVAL.
- Date: 31st March 2005
- Summary: (BN04) KERBALA, IRAQ (MARCH 31, 2005) (REUTERS) 1. GV/TV: WORSHIPPERS GATHERED OUTSIDE IMAM AL-HUSSEIN SHRINE TO MARK SHI'ITE FESTIVAL OF 'ARBAIN', SYMBOLIZING THE 40TH DAY AFTER THE DEATH OF IMAM AL-HUSSEIN (4 SHOTS) 0.22 2. TV: PEOPLE ENTERING MOSQUE (2 SHOTS) 0.33 3. GV: EXTERIOR OF THE SHRINE AND THE SUN RISING BEHIND THE SHRINE (2 SHOTS) 0.43 (BN10) KERBALA, IRAQ (MARCH 31, 2005) (REUTERS) 4. POLICE CAR IN CENTRE OF CITY NEAR MOSQUE PATROLLINGGV/PAN: STREETS, PEOPLE MARCHING IN STREETS MARKING 'ARBAIN' 1.04 (BN04) KERBALA, IRAQ (MARCH 31, 2005) (REUTERS) 5. GV/MV: PEOPLE WITH CHAINS AND DRUMS, CELEBRATING OUT IN THE STREET; SHIITE MEN BEATING THEMSELVES WITH SWORDS; PEOPLE MARCHING, PILGRIMS BEATING THEIR HEADS AND CHESTS DURING FESTIVAL (4 SHOTS) 1.37 (BN10) KERBALA, IRAQ (MARCH 31, 2005) (REUTERS) 6. MV/CU: IRAQI SHI'ITE WOMEN BEATING THEIR CHESTS DURING FESTIVAL (3 SHOTS) 2.02 7. GV: IRAQI SECURITY STANDING IN STREET 2.09 8. GV: WOMEN PILGRIMS BEING SEARCHED BY SECURITY OUTSIDE MOSQUE 2.20 9. GV: PILGRIMS BEING WHEELED IN STREETS 2.33 10. GV/MV/GV: PILGRIMS BOARDING TRUCKS AT END OF 'ARBAIN' FESTIVAL; TRUCKS DRIVING AWAY FROM CENTRE AT END OF FESTIVAL, MEN ON BACK OF VAN HOLDING SIGN READING 'AL-HUSSEIN' (3 SHOTS) 3.08 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 15th April 2005 13:00
- Location: KERBALA, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Reuters ID: LVA7TQQKB4UNTZUIXVPG3PKLT428
- Story Text: Security high during climax of Shi'ite religious
festival in Kerbala.
Iraqi police have strengthened their security in Kerbala
as thousands of pilgrims gathered in the sacred Shi'ite city to celebrate the festival of 'Arbain' which marks the 40th day after
the martyrdom of Mohammed's grandson Imam al-Hussein.
Shi'ites from across Iraq had converged on the city of Kerbala,
110 km (70 miles) southwest of Baghdad for the 'Arbain', the
religious pilgrimage that was banned for a quarter of a century
under Saddam Hussein's Sunni Muslim-dominated regime.
Police stood guard as Shi'ite pilgrims marched through the streets,
beating their chests and celebrating the end of the mourning period.
Traditionally, Shi'ites walk from their hometowns to Kerbala for
Arbain. The pilgrims were attacked on Monday (March 28) as they
passed through an area south of Baghdad dubbed the "triangle of
death" because of the frequency of insurgent strikes.
Shi'ites have frequently been attacked by Sunni-led insurgents
over the past two years, particularly during religious occasions.
At ceremonies in Kerbala and Baghdad last year, more than 130
pilgrims were killed by suicide bombs.
The festival concluded peacefully despite fears of attacks in
the build up to the commemoration of al-Hussein.
In other parts of the country, two suicide car bombers killed
Three Iraqi national guards and two civilians were killed in an
attack on a military checkpoint near Suleiman Beik, 95 km
(60 miles) south of the city of Kirkuk, a captain in the force
said. In another attack, a suicide car bomber detonated his car
beside an Iraqi army patrol in Samarra, killing two
soldiers, officials said.
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