RealNews

Iraqi Shiites on mass pilgrimage as police come under fresh attack

Iraqi Shiites took part in a mass pilgrimage banned during the 24-year rule of Saddam Hussein as a man blew himself up in Kirkuk in the latest of a series of attacks on the country’s police. Hundreds of thousands of Shiite faithful flocked from all over Iraq to the holy city of Karbala on Sunday, some walking more than 100 kilometers (60 miles) barefoot, to mark the birthday of the 9th century Imam Mehdi they believe will one day return to save the world. It was the first time in years Iraq’s majority community could conduct the annual pilgrimage to Karbala, as public demonstrations of the Shiite faith were banned under Saddam’s Sunni-dominated regime. Full Story

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