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Drenched in their own blood: Young boys beat themselves with blades on the streets of Baghdad to ‘mourn the death of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson’

  • Young boys beat themselves with blades on streets Iraqi capital, Baghdad
  • Hundreds of men gathered in Manchester to slap themselves on the chest
  • Men and young boys were Shi’ite Muslims taking part in holy day of Ashura
  • They were mourning the death of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Husayn

Shocking images show young Muslim boys beating themselves with sharp blades as part of the holy Day of Ashura.

Every year, Muslims all over the world take part in these bloody self-flagellation ceremonies to mark the tenth day of the Islamic calendar and to mourn the death of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Imam Husayn, at the Battle of Karbala.

Sunni Muslims celebrate it the date – which they refer to as the Day of Atonement – as the day Israelites were freed from the Pharaoh of Egypt.


Photographs show young boys parading down the streets of Iraq’s capital Baghdad with blood dripping from their wounded heads and onto their white robes. They are flanked by their mothers dressed entirely in black.

Some Muslims commemorate the day by carrying out brutal acts of self-flagellation, others slap their chests and chant, and some take part in ‘street plays’.

Many people also choose to make a pilgrimage to the Mashhad al-Husyn in Iraq, which is thought to be the resting place of Imam Husayn.

The Day of Ashura has become a nationa


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