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Shi'ite holy ceremony culminates in Kerbala, 1 dead from Sunni rocket fire

Sunday, December 14, 2014 - 01:41

One person is killed in Iraqi city of Kerbala, where scores of Shi'ite pilgrims gather for religious ceremonies threatened by radical Sunni Islamic State fighters. Mana Rabiee reports.

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In the Iraqi city of Kerbala, Shi'ites end 40 days of mourning. Millions of Shi'ites amassed in the city for one of the biggest events in their religious calendar -- Arbain -- which culminated Saturday. But as the ceremony neared its end ... violence. One man was killed Friday by rocket fire launched from the north of the city. That's where Sunni Islamic State fighters are in combat with government troops and Shi'ite militias… as they try to create a Sunni caliphate that considers Shi'ites -- like these -- heretics. Arbain marks the anniversary of the death of Shi'ite figure Imam Hussein 1,300 years ago. It's a defining moment in Islam as the religion split into two -- Sunni and Shi'ite. The event's been the target of militant attacks ever since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Other Arbain ceremonies were also under tight security, like this one in Karachi, Pakistan, where violence between Shi'ites and Sunnis has become more vicious in recent years. (SOUNDBITE) (Urdu) SHI'ITE MOURNER, NASEER AHMED, SAYING: "We bring our small children, our women here, but we're not worried there will be a bomb blast or any terrorist attack here. We just don't care because we are full of religious enthusiasm." But authorities DO care. In Kerbala, security forces feared Islamic State militants might "infiltrate" the crowds and target pilgrims. Some 40,000 police and soldiers were dispatched across the city this year ... as Islamic State fighters battle for control just a half hour's drive away.

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Shi'ite holy ceremony culminates in Kerbala, 1 dead from Sunni rocket fire

Sunday, December 14, 2014 - 01:41