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Many Killed In Baghdad Pilgrimage

Shi'ite pilgrims in Baghdad today (RFE/RL) August 20, 2006 -- Iraqi authorities say sniper and bomb attacks on Muslim pilgrims in Baghdad have killed at least 17 people and wounded at least 200 others.

Police say they have shot several snipers who were firing at the crowd from rooftops.

The killings came during a massive Shi'ite religious procession, an annual ritual of grief. The pilgrims are paying tribute to Imam Musa al-Kadhim, an eighth-century Shi'ite saint. He is buried inside a shrine in north Baghdad's Al-Kadhimiyah district.

One year ago, nearly 1,000 pilgrims died when a stampede broke out over rumors that a suicide bomber was among the crowd heading toward the imam's shrine.

(compiled from agency reports)

Sectarian Iraq

Sectarian Iraq

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SUNNI, SHI'A: Iraq is riven along sectarian lines, faults that frequently produce violent clashes and are a constant source of tension. Sectarian concerns drive much of Iraqi politics and are the main threat to the country's fragile security environment.

THE COMPLETE PICTURE: Click on the image to view RFE/RL's complete coverage of events in Iraq and that country's ongoing transition.

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