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Devout Shiite Muslims including children are left covered in blood

Shi’ite Muslims across the world have commemorated the seventh-century killing of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson by drawing blood. 

Ashura marks the killing of Imam Hussein in a battle with Caliph Yazid’s forces in 680.

Starting at sunrise, devout Shi’ite Muslims listen to recitations of the story of the Imam’s death with many crying and beating themselves with closed fists. Some also lacerate their heads or flagellate themselves with knives. 

Each year, some adults will give their children a quick tap on the head with a knife or razor blade to include them in the ceremony. 

Starting at sunrise, devout Shi’ite Muslims listen to recitations of the story of Imam Hussein’s death with many crying and beating themselves with closed fists. Pictured, a man strikes himself with knives in New Delhi, India

A man can be seen with scars across his back from previous flagellations, again lashing himself during Ashura in Bangalore

A man can be seen with scars across his back from previous flagellations, again lashing himself during Ashura in Bangalore

Iraqi men are covered with blood after flagellating themselves during the mourning procession

Iraqi men are covered with blood after flagellating themselves during the mourning procession

A Shiite Muslim flagellates himself during a procession on the tenth day of Muharram, which marks the day of Ashura, in Quetta on September 10, 2019

A Shiite Muslim flagellates himself during a procession on the tenth day of Muharram, which marks the day of Ashura, in Quetta on September 10, 2019

The day of Ashura is commemorated by Shiite Muslims worldwide and marks the climax of mourning rituals in the Islamic month of Muharram for the 7th century killing of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed, in the Battle of Karbala in 680 AD

The day of Ashura is commemorated by Shiite Muslims worldwide and marks the climax of mourning rituals in the Islamic month of Muharram for the 7th century killing of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed, in the Battle of Karbala in 680 AD

The mourning holiday occurs on the 10th day of Muharram, the first month and the month of mourning in the Islamic calendar. 

Many countries observe the holiday, particularly in areas of the world with a significant Shi’ite population, such as Iraq, India, Lebanon Afghanistan and Bahrain. 

The reason for the blood letting is to show solidarity with the family of Hussein and to express remorse that the mourner could not be there to fight for the prophet’s grandson. 

They also seek to express the emotions of grief and repulsion against what Hussein’s killer Yazid stood for. 

A Lebanese Shiite child is pictured with a bleading forhead, as part of a mourning ritual, during a procession on the tenth day of the lunar month of Muharram which marks the day of Ashura, in the southern Lebanese city of Nabatieh on September 10, 2019

A Lebanese Shiite child is pictured with a bleading forhead, as part of a mourning ritual, during a procession on the tenth day of the lunar month of Muharram which marks the day of Ashura, in the southern Lebanese city of Nabatieh on September 10, 2019

An Lebanese Shiite man cuts the forehead of a woman with a razor, as part of a mourning ritual, during a procession on the tenth day of the lunar month of Muharram which marks the day of Ashura, in the southern Lebanese city of Nabatieh on September 10, 2019

An Lebanese Shiite man cuts the forehead of a woman with a razor, as part of a mourning ritual, during a procession on the tenth day of the lunar month of Muharram which marks the day of Ashura, in the southern Lebanese city of Nabatieh on September 10, 2019

This year's ceremony comes shortly after a series of confrontations between Hezbollah and Israel, including an exchange of cross-border fire at the start of the month.

This year’s ceremony comes shortly after a series of confrontations between Hezbollah and Israel, including an exchange of cross-border fire at the start of the month.

Hussein's death is where the schism between the Islamic community began and is one of the defining events between Sunni and Shi'ite Islam

Hussein’s death is where the schism between the Islamic community began and is one of the defining events between Sunni and Shi’ite Islam

Hussein’s death is where the schism between the Islamic community began and is one of the defining events between Sunni and Shi’ite Islam. 

Hussain’s tomb is located in the holy city of Kerbala in southern Iraq.  

During this year’s commemoration in the Hezbollah stronghold southern suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon,the struggle of Imam Hussein – who Shi’ites say went knowingly to his death at the hands of Yazid’s forces – drew parallels to the ‘self-sacrifice’ many followers were willing to go through to defeat Israel. 

‘We have taught Israel that our people are not weak,’ the men cried during the procession, beating their chests in unison. 

Shiite Muslim mourners flagellate themselves during a procession on the tenth day of Muharram which marks the day of Ashura, in New Delhi on September 10, 2019

Shiite Muslim mourners flagellate themselves during a procession on the tenth day of Muharram which marks the day of Ashura, in New Delhi on September 10, 2019

Shiite Muslims make a cut on the forehead of a child with a knife during a religious procession held on the tenth day of the mourning period of Muharram that marks the day of Ashura in Hyderabad on September 10, 2019

Shiite Muslims make a cut on the forehead of a child with a knife during a religious procession held on the tenth day of the mourning period of Muharram that marks the day of Ashura in Hyderabad on September 10, 2019

blood-covered Iraqi man is pictured with a sword during the mourning procession on the tenth day of Muharram which marks the day of Ashura, in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on September 10, 2019

blood-covered Iraqi man is pictured with a sword during the mourning procession on the tenth day of Muharram which marks the day of Ashura, in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on September 10, 2019

Though the scenes of Ashura are gory, very few Shi’ite Muslims observe with a blood donation through flailing. 

In some areas, blood drives from donation charities replace the traditional blood-letting.   

During this year’s holiday, at least 31 people died and another 100 were wounded on Tuesday during the process in Iraq’s southern holy city of Kerbala, in what an official at its Imam Hussein shrine described as a stampede.

The death toll released by the Iraqi Health Ministry was expected to rise, with at least 10 people in critical condition.

The ministry did not disclose how they had been killed but the shrine official told Reuters the stampede took place at the entrance to the ornate building.  

Stampedes have occurred during processions in the past.  

The ministry did not disclose how they had been killed but the shrine official told Reuters the stampede took place at the entrance to the ornate building.

The ministry did not disclose how they had been killed but the shrine official told Reuters the stampede took place at the entrance to the ornate building.

During this year's holiday, at least 31 people died and another 100 were wounded on Tuesday during the process in Iraq's southern holy city of Kerbala, in what an official at its Imam Hussein shrine described as a stampede.

During this year’s holiday, at least 31 people died and another 100 were wounded on Tuesday during the process in Iraq’s southern holy city of Kerbala, in what an official at its Imam Hussein shrine described as a stampede.

 

 

 

 

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