Millions hold Shi'ite pilgrimage under heavy security in Iraq
|Publisher||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty|
|Publication Date||6 July 2012|
|Cite as||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Millions hold Shi'ite pilgrimage under heavy security in Iraq, 6 July 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/5000252b2.html [accessed 24 April 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
July 06, 2012
Millions of Shi'ite worshippers were gathering in the Iraqi city of Karbala on July 6 for an annual pilgrimage under heavy security following a series of attacks targeting Shi'ite pilgrims.
Iraqi officials say tens of thousands of police officers and a dozen helicopters were deployed to prevent attacks.
An estimated 6 million Iraqi visitors and 150,000 foreign pilgrims came to Karbala for the rituals, which mark the birth of Imam Mehdi, a central figure in Shi'ite Islam.
Shi'ite pilgrims are a frequent target for Al-Qaeda-linked Sunni insurgents, especially during times of commemoration ceremonies.
Bombings during another Shi'ite pilgrimage last month killed more than 100 people.
Based on reporting by AP and AFP