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The blood-letting, processions and chants were part of the Shiite commemoration of the Battle of Karbala, where Imam Hussein – the Prophet Muhammad's grandson – was killed in 680 .In the heat of the morning sun, men started to beat their heads and make cuts with razors and swords amidst cries of "for you Zainab," referring to Hussein's sister, who also played a role in the battle at Karbala and is honored by Shiites.As he sterilized his 9-month-old child's head with alcohol, one worshiper Fadl Farran said that the practice of cutting had been inherited from his father.Alia, a young girl around five-years-old was crying as she repeatedly hit her head with her palm, blood running down her face. Her mother did the same as she chanted "Haidar," one of the names for Imam Ali, Hussein's father.
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