Outpourings of Ashura

Ashura, celebrated on November 24, is a day of mourning commemorating the martyrdom of Hussain ibn Ali, the grandson of Mohammed, at the Battle of Karbala in the year 680.

Sunnis tend to observe the day in solemn reflection at home, but for Shiites in Afghanistan Pakistan and other countries it culminates in a huge emotional oupouring of grief, centred around mosques and charaterized by chestbeating, self-flagellation with chains and small knives, and even body piercing to shed blood. Asghar Noor Mohammad brings us images from the day in Mazar-e Sharif.

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