Iraq Shi'ite Ashoura ritual escapes major attacks

KERBALA, Iraq - A gathering of millions of Shi'ite Muslims at shrines and mosques across Iraq for the Ashoura religious commemoration passed without any major attacks on Tuesday, under tight security imposed for fear of Islamic State bombers.

Crowds of hundreds of thousands of people in the holy city of Kerbala had largely dispersed in safety after nightfall, following a day of worship and prayer to mark the 7th century battle that divided the Muslim world into Sunnis and Shi'ites.

But seven pilgrims returning home from Kerbala were killed in separate roadside bomb attacks in the town of Latifiya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police and medical sources said.

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