Police ordered a curfew Tuesday in the Shi'ite holy city of Karbala and ordered more than one million pilgrims to leave after two days of violence claimed at least 10 lives during a Shi'ite religious festival.
The police joint coordination command issued the order after heavy shooting broke out in the center of the city Tuesday. Trouble started late Monday when scuffles broke out between police and pilgrims said to have been angry over strict security.
Gunshots rang out Tuesday in the area near the city's two major Shi'ite shrines which are the focal point of celebrations marking the birthday of the 12th and last Shi'ite imam, who disappeared in the 9th century. The festival was to have reached its high point Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.