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Published on 05 Oct 2012 | over 5 years ago

The bomb blasts in Karbala and Baghdad during the Shia Muslim commemoration of Ashura did more than rock the fragile stability of Iraq - they were a signal to the new power base in the country, the Shias, that their mosques, their shrines and their festivals will be targeted by extremists.

For the first time in three decades, Iraqi Shias were able to mark Ashura - the commemoration of the the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, grandson of the Prophet Mohammed - openly in Karbala.

Cameras followed Shia pilgrims from the UK, USA and Iraq as they wrestled with the decision to travel to Karbala and mark the first free Ashura in three decades.

The 90-minute film records pilgrims' decisions, Ashura itself and the intense emotions of the Shia mourning of Hussain's death. It includes footage of the bombings and their aftermath.
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