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The climax of the Ashura Shi'ite festival in Iraq has been marred by violent attacks

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The climax of the Ashura Shi'ite festival in Iraq has been marred by violent attacks
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More than 40 people have been killed in separate shootings and bombings. The attacks come amid heightened tension between the majority Shi’ite Muslims and the once politically dominant Sunni minority. A suicide bomber killed at least 13 in a town northeast of Baghdad, and another killed at least 23 in the town of Balad Ruz.

Ashura has been a target in the past for radical Sunni militants. Iraqi authorities had deployed 11,000 police and soldiers to the holy Shi’ite city of Kerbala, the focus of the Ashura commemorations.

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