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Muslims Kill 20 Muslims At ‘Flagellation Festival’

From the terrorist lovers at Reuters:

Ambushes kill 20 in Baghdad

By Alister Bull

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – At least 20 people died and 300 were hurt in Baghdad on Sunday after insurgents, including roof-top snipers, ambushed pilgrims gathering in their hundreds of thousands for a sacred Shi'ite festival.

"Most of the attacks are taking place when pilgrims are crossing the neighboring areas into Kadhimiya," a Health Ministry spokesman said, referring to the northern suburb where a sacred shrine is the focal point of the event.

Heavy security was meant to lower the ever-present danger of sectarian strife at a festival with a bloody history.

Merely the fear of violence — with a rumor that a suicide bomber had been seen — sparked a stampede last year in which 1,000 people died.

Clashes were reported in the west and the north of the city and television pictures showed guards on the roof of a government ministry exchanging heavy fire with insurgents.

Police had set up protected corridors to the shrine and urged people to stick to these designated routes. But with huge numbers cramming the roads, many tried to find short cuts and got ambushed instead.

A resident in the mainly Sunni neighborhood of Waziriya said Shi'ite militiamen fought for several hours with insurgents on its streets after one such attack.

They then searched his home and surrounding buildings for gunmen who had opened fire from the rooftops, and told him that they had killed two.

Defense Minister General Abdul Qader Jassim said that 30 suspected militants had been arrested, including at least five non-Iraqi Arabs, and 14 police had been wounded in the violence.


At the festival, worshippers flagellated themselves with chains and thousands crammed the narrow streets around the shrine of Imam Musa Kadhim in Kadhimiya.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Shi'ite-led government has temporarily banned vehicles from Baghdad and beefed up security to prevent a repeat of the stampede, in which many [again, a 1,000] pilgrims were crushed to death on A'imma bridge over the Tigris river, or drowned when they jumped in. The ban lifts on Monday at dawn…

A Shiite Iraqi practices self flagellation as he heads towards Shiite Imam Musa al-Kazim shrine in the al-Kazimiah district north of Baghdad. Security forces were on high alert as hundreds of thousands of Shiite devotees marched into Baghdad to mark the death of a revered imam, a year after a stampede killed nearly 1,000 pilgrims.


This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, August 20th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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