Iraqi pilgrims swarm Baghdad to mark imam`s death

Shi’ites have been a favourite target of Sunni insurgents hoping to inflame sectarian tensions.

Baghdad: Hundreds of thousands of Shi’ite Muslim pilgrims are flocking to a Baghdad shrine to observe the death of a revered eighth century saint, snarling traffic and sending security forces to the streets to protect the worshippers.

Shi’ite pilgrims have been a favourite target of Sunni insurgents hoping to inflame sectarian tensions.

But no major attacks against the throng were reported so far on Tuesday morning. Eyewitnesses estimated the crowd number at hundreds of thousands.

Iraqi state TV said more than three million have visited the gold-domed Imam Moussa al-Kadhim mosque over the last few days.

Police used concrete blocks and razor wire to close roads across the capital to safeguard the pilgrims.

Bureau Report

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