Monday, January 30, 2006

Iraq on high alert before festival

"Thousands of security personnel were being deployed in southern Iraq ahead of the Shi'ite festival of Ashura as rebels carried out attacks on local and foreign forces in the area.

At least 8,000 police and military personnel are to stand guard in the holy city of Karbala during the Ashura festival starting on Wednesday, according to city governor Ali al-Khalil.

The ceremony has often been a target of Sunni insurgents as tens of thousands of faithful Shi'ites visit the mausoleums of their imams.

In 2004, 170 pilgrims died in attacks during the ceremonies around mausoleums in Karbala and Baghdad, while last year 44 people were killed and 52 wounded when a man wearing an explosives belt blew himself up in Karbala next to a crowd of pilgrims at the shrine of Imam Hussein."
The Age
Let's hope these people can have their damn parade this year without any violence. It's a sad state when people cant go to a parade without getting it too much to ask?


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