At least 25 people have been killed in violence at an Iraqi religious festival. Clashes between police and pilgrims took place near a mosque where thousands had gathered to mark one of the holiest events on the Shi’ite calendar. The trouble broke out during a march by pilgrims angry about the tight security at the event. Witnesses say police opened fire when they were pelted with stones and other objects.
The Iraqi government ordered pilgrims to leave the city because of the violence and sent in troop reinforcements. The latest violence comes as the West pushes for a new political agreement between Iraqi leaders to reduce sectarian violence.