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Shiite Muslim men cut their heads with SWORDS as they take part in rituals to mark holy day Ashura

Shiite Muslim men cut their heads with SWORDS as they take part in bloodletting mourning rituals to mark the holy day of Ashura

  • GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING
  • Photos taken in Iraq’s central holy shrine city Najaf show Shiite Muslims completing self-flagellation 
  • For Shiite Muslims involved in the ritual, it is believed that self-flagellation washes away all of their sins 
  • The ceremony marks Ashura and commemorates the death of Hussein, grandson of Prophet Muhammad 

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Graphic photos have captured the scenes in Iraq as Shiite Muslims cut themselves using swords.

The Muslims carried out the flagellation earlier today at the Imam Ali shrine in Iraq’s central holy shrine city of Najaf, to mark Ashura, the ninth day of Muharram in the first month of the Islamic calendar.

For the Shiite Muslims, Ashura is also a major religious event where followers of the faith commemorate the martyrdom of Husayn Ibn Ali al-Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, who died at the Battle of Karbala in 680 AD.

The act of self-flagellation is seen as an act of washing away sins by those who carry out the ritual.

The pictures, taken in Najaf, Iraq, show a group of Shiite Muslims wearing all-white outfits, cutting their heads and allowing blood to run down themselves.

People dressed in all-black can also be seen stood to the side of the large group of Shiite Muslims, ready to help those participating in the ritual , should they need it.

A couple of pictures even show the helpers walking around with bottles of water and cloths, in order to assist those who have cut themselves.

While another image, captured the moment a man wearing blue protective overalls and a face mask attended to a participant, by wrapping a bandage around his head and dabbing away at the blood. 

Graphic photos have captured the scenes in Iraq as Shiite Muslims cut themselves using swords

The Muslims carried out the flagellation earlier today at the Imam Ali shrine in Iraq's central holy shrine city of Najaf, to mark Ashura, the ninth day of Muharram in the first month of the Islamic calendar

The Muslims carried out the flagellation earlier today at the Imam Ali shrine in Iraq’s central holy shrine city of Najaf, to mark Ashura, the ninth day of Muharram in the first month of the Islamic calendar

Pictured: A Shiite Muslim lies on his back on a stretcher as he is treated after having flagellated himself during a ceremony to mark Ashura

Pictured: A Shiite Muslim lies on his back on a stretcher as he is treated after having flagellated himself during a ceremony to mark Ashura

For the Shiite Muslims, Ashura is also a major religious event where followers of the faith commemorate the martyrdom of H usayn Ibn Ali al-Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, who died at the Battle of Karbala in 680 AD

For the Shiite Muslims, Ashura is also a major religious event where followers of the faith commemorate the martyrdom of H usayn Ibn Ali al-Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, who died at the Battle of Karbala in 680 AD

The act of self-flagellation is seen as an act of washing away sins by those who carry out the ritual

The act of self-flagellation is seen as an act of washing away sins by those who carry out the ritual

A group of Shiite Muslims at the Imam Ali shrine kneel on the floor, with their heads bowed, as they cut their scalps with large knives and swords

A group of Shiite Muslims at the Imam Ali shrine kneel on the floor, with their heads bowed, as they cut their scalps with large knives and swords

One man could be seen jumping in the air and yelling out as he took part in the self-flagellation

One man could be seen jumping in the air and yelling out as he took part in the self-flagellation

The pictures, taken in Najaf, Iraq, show a group of Shiite Muslims wearing all-white outfits, cutting their heads and allowing blood to run down themselves

The pictures, taken in Najaf, Iraq, show a group of Shiite Muslims wearing all-white outfits, cutting their heads and allowing blood to run down themselves

A man can be seen holding a large blade up to the top of his head as he took part in the annual mourning ceremony

A man can be seen holding a large blade up to the top of his head as he took part in the annual mourning ceremony

With his head bowed, this man can be seen with a blade held up to his head and blood pouring down his white outfit

With his head bowed, this man can be seen with a blade held up to his head and blood pouring down his white outfit

One man, kneeling on the floor, is assisted by another man stood in front of him who carefully cuts at the kneeling man's head

One man, kneeling on the floor, is assisted by another man stood in front of him who carefully cuts at the kneeling man’s head

Huge numbers of people participated in the self-flagellation ritual this year. Pictured: A crowd of Shiite monks gathered in the holy city of Kerbala in Iraq this morning

Huge numbers of people participated in the self-flagellation ritual this year. Pictured: A crowd of Shiite monks gathered in the holy city of Kerbala in Iraq this morning

A man can be seen at the annual ritual ceremony as blood pours down his head from the cuts on his scalp

A man can be seen at the annual ritual ceremony as blood pours down his head from the cuts on his scalp

People dressed in all-black can also be seen stood to the side of the large group of Shiite Muslims, ready to help those participating in the ritual , should they need it

People dressed in all-black can also be seen stood to the side of the large group of Shiite Muslims, ready to help those participating in the ritual , should they need it

One image captured the moment a man wearing blue protective overalls and a face mask attended to a participant, by wrapping a bandage around his head and dabbing away at the blood

One image captured the moment a man wearing blue protective overalls and a face mask attended to a participant, by wrapping a bandage around his head and dabbing away at the blood

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