There was an outbreak of violence in Iraq this week surrounding Ashura, a major Shiite commemoration. For Shiite Muslims, Ashura marks the martyrdom of Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. Some participants recall his death by ritually whipping and beating themselves. Ashura has historically been an occasion for sectarian tensions between Shiite and Sunni Muslims, and there were several targeted attacks against Shiites across the country. One of them killed over 30 people.
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