- Title: IRAQ: THOUSANDS GATHER IN NAJAF FOR FUNERAL PROCESSION OF BAQIR AL-HAKIM.
- Date: 2nd September 2003
- Summary: (W3) NAJAF, IRAQ (SEPTEMBER 2, 2003) (REUTERS -- ACCESS ALL) 1. TV/PAN: TOP VIEW OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE AMASSED IN STREETS OF NAJAF 0.42 2. TV/PAN/ZOOM IN/CU: CLOSE-UP OF VEHICLE, CARRYING AL-HAKIM'S BODY AND DRAPED IN GREEN CLOTH WITH PICTURES OF AL-HAKIM 2.15 3. TV/ZOOM IN AND OUT/PAN: CROWDS CHANTING AND CARRYING FLAGS, MARCHING THROUGH STREETS AS PROCESSION PASSES BY 2.59 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 17th September 2003 13:00
- Location: NAJAF, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Reuters ID: LVAAHC1SS2OAP457H2TOCN1LPK8E
- Story Text: Thousands have gathered in Najaf, Iraq for the
funeral procession of Ayatollah Mohammed Baqer al-Hakim.
Thousands of Iraqis streamed out of the holy city of
Najaf on Tuesday (September 2) to meet the funeral cortege
of a senior Shi'ite Muslim cleric, slain by a car bomb that
dealt a major blow to U.S.-led efforts to pacify Iraq.
Some of the mourners beat themselves with small metal
chains in a traditional Shi'ite ritual. Others carried
ctures of Ayatollah Mohammed Baqer al-Hakim, killed along
with more than 80 other people in Iraq's most deadly
In the city, residents set out bathtubs full of
drinking water to help mourners cope with the intense heat,
expected to rise to about 45 Celsius (113 Fahrenheit)
during the day. Cooks heated up big black metal cauldrons
of soup over huge charcoal fires.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to pack
the city for Hakim's burial around midday, marking the
climax of several days of mourning during which his coffin
has been taken to key Shi'ite Muslim sites around Iraq.
Hakim, killed right after Friday prayers on August 29
at Najaf's revered Imam Ali mosque, was one of the key
leaders in Iraq's majority Shi'ite community and was
regarded as a moderate. He had advocated cautious
co-operation with U.S.-led occupying forces.
Hakim's brother sits on a U.S.-appointed Governing
Council, which named Iraq's first postwar ministers on
Monday (September 1).
Washington sees the Governing Council and its cabinet
as the first steps towards its goal of transforming Iraq
into a peaceful democracy.
The 25 ministers will be responsible for day-to day
business but ultimate authority remains with the occupying
powers who have run the country since the U.S.-led war that
ousted president Saddam Hussein in April.
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