Sunday, May 07, 2006

Sunday's Bombing in Karbala (كربلاء‎ )

Sunday's bombing in the Shi'ite holy city of Karbala (كربلاء‎ ) is an ominous development that will be interpreted by many as an extreme provocation.

Karbala is dedicated to Imam Husayn - Husayn ibn Ali, the prophet's grandson it is the site of the Battle of Karbala fought on Tenth of Muħarram in 61 A.H. (October 10, 680). During the course of the battle Imam Husayn, his baby son, and his followers were massacred. The child was killed in his father's arms.

The city is the site of the Masjidu l-Hussayn - the Imam's tomb and is considered by the Shia to be an extremely holy place superceded in importance only by Mecca, Medina and Najaf. As such it is a place of pilgrimage particularly during the festival of Ashoura and was the scene of the 2004 Ashoura Massacre.

This article from the September 2004 edition of Shianews describes the events leading up to the battle of Kerbala on 10 Muharram, 61 AH (October 10, 680,) and its aftermath:

A brief look at Kerbala

This microsite from the UK's Channel4 "Karbala - City of Martyrs" has a lot of information compactly and well presented for those wanting to learn more.


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