- Title: IRAQ: PILGRIMS ATTEND SHI'ITE CEREMONY IN KERBALA.
- Date: 11th April 2004
- Summary: (W4) KERBALA, IRAQ (APRIL 11, 2004) (REUTERS) 1. GV: IMAM AL- HUSSEIN HOLY SHRINE 0.07 2. TV: PILGRIMS FLOCKING TO SHRINE 0.10 3. MV: GROUP OF PILGRIMS MARCHING 0.16 4. MV: MEN BEATING THEIR CHESTS 0.21 5. MV: FEMALE PILGRIMS BEATING CHESTS 0.26 6. GV: GROUP OF PILGRIMS BEATING CHESTS 0.30 7. MV: CLOSE-UP OF PILGRIM 0.35 8. GV: PILGRIMS ENTERING HOLY SHRINE OF IMAM AL-HUSSEIN 0.41 9. GV: SHRINE 0.45 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 26th April 2004 13:00
- Location: KERBALA, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Reuters ID: LVA82IUVZWENT4BRNPTI882ZWA65
- Story Text: Pilgrims attend the shrine city of Kerbala for
Pilgrims thronged the shrine city of Kerbala for a
Shi'ite ceremony on Sunday (April 11), overshadowed by an
uprising led by a radical cleric and fears of attacks by
The Arbain ceremony falls 40 days after the Shi'ite
holy day of Ashura, when suicide bombings killed 171
pilgrims in Baghdad and Kerbala.
The peak of the Arbain pilgrimage -- prayers before
dawn -- passed peacefully. But after daybreak the streets
were still crowded with Shi'ites, some of whom had walked
for days from across Iraq to visit the Kerbala shrine.
The ceremonies commemorate the martyrdom of Imam
Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Mohammad, more than 13
The fall of Saddam Hussein and his Sunni-dominated
regime ended decades of oppression for the 60-percent
Shi'ite majority and left them free to observe Ashura and
Officials said Sadr's followers had agreed to avoid
fighting in Kerbala during Arbain. A member of Iraq's
U.S.-appointed Governing Council, Naseer Kamel Chaderji,
said Shi'ite council members were in talks with Sadr to try
to end the uprising.
An aide to Sadr, Qays al-Khazali, said the cleric was
willing to start peace talks if foreign troops left Najaf,
freed detained Sadr followers and ended the Falluja siege.
Iraq's U.S. governor, Paul Bremer, has said the safety
of pilgrims cannot be guaranteed during Arbain.
Iraqi police, whom U.S.-led forces had previously
entrusted with keeping order during Arbain, were nowhere to
be seen in Kerbala following this week's clashes.
Streets were being patrolled by Shi'ite militias as
well as local guards, some employed by the clerical
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