Ashura in Iraq: faith and fury in the time of coronavirus | AFP

For millennia, Iraqis have turned to religion as they grieve their dead. This year, a pandemic and the killings of hundreds of young protestors have lent greater sorrow to the Shiite mourning ceremonies of Ashura held in late August.
Every year, thousands of Shiite Muslims mark Ashura with a pilgrimage to Imam Hussein’s resting place inside a glittering shrine in the holy city of Karbala. This year, Ashura mourners have combined their religious rites with demands for justice, their eyes flashing with pain as they lift framed portraits of slain friends and relatives. Iraqis are also mourning more than 8,000 loved ones who have lost their lives to Covid-19, among nearly 300,000 confirmed cases in the country.

Iraqi Shiite Muslims take part in Friday prayers in Sadr City despite virus | AFP

Workers spray supporters of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr with disinfectant, as they take part in the Friday prayers in Sadr City, east of the Iraqi capital Baghdad amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

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Despite virus, Shiite pilgrims gather for mourning month | AFP

Mask-clad Iraqi Shiite Muslim worshippers pray while respecting the social distancing restrictions at a mosque on the first day of the holy month of “muharram”, ignoring calls to stay home even as COVID-19 spreads.

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Today in History for February 22nd

Highlights of this day in history: George Washington, America’s first president, is born; Iraqi insurgents destroy a Shiite shrine’s golden dome; the ‘Miracle on Ice’ during the 1980 Winter Olympics; Pop artist Andy Warhol dies. (Feb. 22)

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Iraq: all-women protest held in holy city of Najaf | AFP

Hundreds of Iraqi women stage a march in the Shiite holy city of Najaf insisting on their right to play a central role in the protest movement sweeping the country.

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Lebanon gets a new PM but protests continue | AFP

As Lebanon picks a new prime minister Hassan Diab who has the endorsement of the Shiite group Hebollah, Sunni protesters block roads and call for a general strike.

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Dozens wounded as Shiite parties clash with Lebanese police | AFP

Burnt-out vehicles and debris in Beirut following violent overnight clashes between Lebanese security forces and supporters of the Shiite movements Hezbollah and Amal.

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Iraqis celebrate near iconic building in Baghdad after PM says he will quit | AFP

Iraqi anti-government protesters celebrate in Tahrir Square after Iraq’s embattled premier announced he will resign in keeping with the wishes of the country’s top Shiite cleric, after nearly two months of anti-government protests that have cost more than 400 lives.

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Hezbollah supporters attack Lebanon anti-graft protesters | AFP

Lebanese army soldiers and riot police are deployed amid clashes between anti-government demonstrators and supporters of the Shiite movements Hezbollah and Amal in downtown Beirut. Shortly before midnight supporters of the Lebanese Shiite groups attacked anti-government protesters in Beirut, shouting insults and chanting in support of the chiefs of their movements before attacking some demonstrators, with army and security reinforcements intervening to diffuse tensions.

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Anti-government protesters clash with Iraqi security forces in Karbala | AFP

Protesters clash with Iraqi security forces during an anti-government demonstration in the Shiite shrine city of Karbala, south of Iraq’s capital Baghdad. IMAGES

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Saudi gentrifies Shiite old quarter after crushing revolt | AFP

Strip malls and palm-dotted boulevards stand in the once bullet-scarred old quarter of Awamiya, a Shiite-majority town on Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich eastern coast where the long-planned facelift fuelled deadly clashes.

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Today in History for February 22nd

Highlights of this day in history: George Washington, America’s first president, is born; Iraqi insurgents destroy a Shiite shrine’s golden dome; the ‘Miracle on Ice’ during the 1980 Winter Olympics; Pop artist Andy Warhol dies. (Feb. 22)

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Revolution in Iran, episode 1: The fall of the shah

This year marks 40 years since Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, when 2,500 years of monarchy gave way to a Shiite supreme leader. In part 1 of this AP series, reporters recall the shah’s ouster.

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Netanyahu warns Hezbollah over ‘precision missiles’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warns Hezbollah “not to think twice but at least 20 times before deciding whether to attack Israel,” after the Shiite movement said it had acquired “precision missiles”.

Protesters storm government building in Basra, Iraq, set it on fire

#Iraq #Basra

Angry protesters in the southern Iraqi city of Basra stormed a government building on Wednesday and and set fire to it.
Security forces guarding the provincial council building fired tear gas and live ammunition at stone-throwing protesters.

Anger in Iraq’s oil-rich city of Basra and other centres in the southern Shiite heartland has been brewing since July over endemic corruption, soaring joblessness and poor public services.

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Afghanistan suicide blast in Kabul kills 48 – reports

The death toll from a suicide bomb attack in the Afghan capital has risen to 48 and is likely to rise further, according to local health officials. 67 others were injured in the attack on an Education Center in a Shi’ite neighbourhood of Kabul. No one has yet claimed responsibility. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/9cfp

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RT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 1 billion YouTube views benchmark.

Today in History for February 22nd

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Highlights of this day in history: George Washington, America’s first president, is born; Iraqi insurgents destroy a Shiite shrine’s golden dome; the ‘Miracle on Ice’ during the 1980 Winter Olympics; Pop artist Andy Warhol dies. (Feb. 22)

Highlights of the day in history – a retrospective view on political events, historic battles, and life changing decisions. More: http://smarturl.it/TodayInHistory

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