Thursday, July 06, 2006

Iranian Pilgrims Bombed in Kufa

Details are still a bit unclear but what's known so far is:

The attack took place at dawn or shortly thereafter. The bombing was a suicide bomb attack using a car. Apparently the driver drove between two coaches in which the pilgrims were travelling and detonated his payload. Early reports say at least 10 dead and at least 40 wounded.

The bombing was at the Maithem al-Tamar shrine which attracts many pilgrims particularly the ill.

Context:

This should be seen as part of the pattern of bombing places held in particular esteem by the Shia and of targetting pilgrimages/processions. Kufa is important to the Shia and this latest bombing will be seen as yet anothe rsevere provocation.

Kufa's one of three religiously important cities placed in a cluster south of Baghdad, it Najaf and Karbala are all in close proximity to one another.

It was founded by Sa'ad ibn Abi Waqqas (one of the companions of the prophet) at the same time as Basra and was the capital of ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (Imam Ali.) Who was murdered there by Kharajites while he was performing morning prayers in the mosque.

The shrine is built over the tombs of Muslim ibn Aqil and Hani ibn Arwa beside it is Ali's headquarters protected by a very imposing wall.

The town itself is relatively poor. Muqdata alSadr has a considerable presence there and often preaches in Kufa.

markfromireland

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