Iraqi Shiite pilgrims take part in Friday prayers at the shrine of Imam Abbas in Karbala, 80 kilometers south of Baghdad.
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Millions of Shiite pilgrims thronged the Iraqi city of Karbala Friday for one of the world's largest religious gatherings, in defiance of the threat posed by ISIS.Record numbers of Shiite faithful have been converging on Karbala from across Iraq and other countries for Arbaeen, which marks the end of a 40-day period of mourning following the anniversary of Imam Hussein's death.Hussein is one of the most revered figures for Shiites, who are the largest community in Iraq and the overwhelming majority in Iran. Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi said Thursday that 17 million pilgrims had come for Arbaeen.
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