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 25 May 2015]|
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