- Title: IRAQ: Shi'ite pilgrims throng Baghdad shrine for rituals
- Date: 25th May 2014
- Summary: BAGHDAD, KADHIMIYA (MAY 25, 2014) (REUTERS) SHI'ITE PILGRIMS WALKING IN STREET OF KADHIMIYA DISTRICT HEADING TO IMAM MOUSSA AL-KADHIM SHRINE PILGRIMS PASSING THROUGH CHECKPOINT BEFORE ENTERING SHRINE SECURITY GUARDS BODY SEARCHING SHI'ITE PILGRIMS GROUP OF SHI'ITE PILGRIMS POLICEMAN SEARCHING PILGRIMS PILGRIMS WALKING THROUGH CHECKPOINT FOR SEARCH (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HASSAN YOUSIF, SHI'ITE PILGRIM FROM IRAQ'S SOUTHERN CITY OF NASSIRIYA, SAYING: "We have come from Nassiriya walking on foot heading to the Imam. Bombings that took place in Abdul Muhsin al-Kadhimi square and in other places would not prevent us from visiting and coming on foot to Imam Moussa al-Kadhim. We learn from them (imams) patience because they had sacrificed themselves for the faith and to set the right and defeat the wrong. We pray to the Almighty God to protect Iraq and its people and bestow His blessings on the Islamic world as a whole" PILGRIMS THRONGING STREET IN KADHIMIYA/ SHRINE AT FAR END OF STREET GOLDEN-DOMED SHRINE OF MOUSSA AL-KADHIM MORE OF SHRINE PILGRIMS IN STREET LEADING TO SHRINE GROUP OF YOUNG MEN BEATING ON THEIR CHESTS IN GRIEF MORE OF PILGRIMS BEATING CHESTS WOMEN PILGRIMS BEATING CHESTS OLD SHI'ITE PILGRIM CRYING WOMEN PILGRIMS CRYING.
- Embargoed: 9th June 2014 13:00
- Location: Iraq
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Religion
- Reuters ID: LVA7M5855V6S5NWUFHCDZ1JIHGCE
- Story Text: Braving bombs and suicide attacks, hundreds of thousands of Shi'ite Muslims gathered on Sunday (May 25) at a shrine in northern Baghdad for the climax of an annual major pilgrimage to commemorate the death anniversary of one of their revered Imam, or saint in 799. .
Walking for hours or days, the pilgrims converged on Imam Moussa al-Kadhim golden-domed Shrine for the climax of the rituals under tight security. Guards checked every person before they crossed the green iron gates of the Shrine as all routes leading to Kadhimiya neighbourhood were closed to traffic.
Many pilgrims had appeared undeterred by Thursday's (May 22) attacks, which bore the hallmarks of Sunni Islamist al Qaeda. Black-clad Shi'ites from around Iraq packed Baghdad's streets as they made their way to the Kadhamiya shrine in the city's north.
Shi'ite pilgrims usually travel to such events on foot. Tents were set up along the way to hand out food and water.
"We have come from Nassiriya walking on foot heading to the Imam. Bombings that took place in Abdul Muhsin al-Kadhimi square and in other places would not prevent us from visiting and coming on foot to Imam Moussa al-Kadhim. We learn from them (imams) patience because they had sacrificed themselves for the faith and to set the right and defeat the wrong. We pray to the Almighty God to protect Iraq and its people and bestow His blessings on the Islamic world as a whole," said Shi'ite pilgrim Hassan Yousif who walked for days from the Shi'ite city of Nassiriya 320 kilometers (200 miles) south of Baghdad .
Thirty -two people were killed in three attacks on Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims walking in Baghdad on Thursday evening ahead of a major religious holiday.
This year, the attackers defied a shutdown of major roadways for Shi'ite religious faithful, who were heading to the Imam Kadhim shrine in Kadhimiya , killing thirty -two people n three attacks on Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims walking in Baghdad on Thursday evening ahead of a major religious holiday.
All the bombings happened in the space of 30 minutes. The deadliest was in eastern Baghdad, near Tayaran Square, where a minibus approached a crowd of pilgrims and exploded, killing 14 people and wounding 17 others, according to police and medical sources.
In Shaab, also in the east of the city, another parked vehicle blew up beside a group of pilgrims, killing 12 and wounding 30, the sources added.
Across Baghdad, in the western neighbourhood of Mansour, a parked car exploded, killing six people and wounding 38.
In 2006 estimated 1,000 pilgrims were killed in a stampede after reports spread that a suicide attacker was among them. It was the largest single loss of life since the U.S.-led invasion began in March of 2003.
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