Shiite Muslims Mark Ashura in Holy City of Karbala, Ignoring COVID-19 Fears

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Shiite Muslim worshippers gathered to mark the mourning Day of Ashura in the holy Iraqi city of Karbala, Thursday, August 19. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims gathered, mostly unmasked, for the celebration, ignoring coronavirus fears. A little more than 5% of Iraqis have been fully vaccinated, but many pilgrims insisted they did not need masks, instead relying on divine providence to protect them. Ashura commemorates a defining moment in the birth of the Shiite branch of Islam that is the majority faith in Iraq and Iran. (AFP)
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