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Iran Scales Back Ashura Commemoration Amid Pandemic

Amid strict COVID-19 measures, Shi'ite Muslims in Iran marked the holy day of Ashura on August 30. The day of mourning honors the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad who was slain in a battle in Karbala in the year 680.

Believers make dramatic displays of passion and faith -- including recitations and processions, weeping, chest beatings, and self-flagellation. But this year, commemorations were scaled back due to the pandemic.

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