Last Updated: Friday, 24 October 2014, 10:31 GMT

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 October 2014]
DisclaimerThis 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

Link to original story on RFE/RL website

Copyright notice: Copyright (c) 2007-2009. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036

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