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Shi'ite Muslims March in Iraqi Holy City During Ashura Procession


Tens of thousands of Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims marched through the holy city of Karbala in Iraq Thursday in mourning processions honoring one of Shi'ite Islam's most revered leaders.

Men with shaved heads marched toward the mausoleum of Imam Hussein, slapping themselves with chains and beating their heads with the flat side of swords and knives until they bled. Police expect one million people to join the religious observance throughout the day.

This year's ceremonies are being held under tight security. Thousands of undercover police are deployed in Karbala to prevent attacks by Sunni insurgents that killed more 200 Ashura worshippers in the past two years. Security is also tight in Baghdad.

Elsewhere in the country, a suicide car bomber killed five Iraqis and wounded a U.S. marine near the border with Syria.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.
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