A member of the Iraqi security forces stands guard as Shiite Muslim pilgrims walk on a road in the southern outskirts of the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Nov. 30, 2015. (AFP PHOTO / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE)
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Like millions of other Shiite pilgrims, Arkan al-Husseini travelled to Iraq's shrine city of Karbala for the Arbaeen commemoration Thursday of Imam Hussein's killing in battle -- but this time also to celebrate Daesh's (ISIS) battlefield defeats.The annual commemoration of Arbaeen marks the end of the 40-day mourning period for the 7th-century killing of Imam Hussein by the forces of the Caliph Yazid -- a formative event in Shiite Islam.The expulsion of Daesh extremists from Iraqi cities has added an extra dimension to this year's pilgrimage to Imam Hussein's shrine in Karbala, about 80 kilometers southwest of Baghdad.Daesh swept across swathes of Iraq in 2014 and has regularly targeted Shiite pilgrims in devastating bomb attacks.
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