Islamabad, Jan.8 (ANI): Thousands of Shia Muslims held peaceful Ashura processions amid tight security across Pakistan on Thursday, commemorating the death of the Prophet Mohammed's grandson Imam Hussein.
Police and paramilitary soldiers escorted the Shia community's parades in several major cities, and commandos were perched on some rooftops along the routes in a bid to prevent violence, the Dawn reported.
Curfew was imposed the northwestern town of Hangu on Wednesday, where 40 people were killed in an Ashura attack in 2007 and 12 people were wounded in a mortar attack outside a Shia mosque last year.
Shia Muslims stage religious processions on Ashura to commemorate the death of Imam Hussein at Karbala in modern-day Iraq in 680 AD.
The mourners recited elegies, carried black banners and marched behind replicas of Imam Hussein's tomb in Iraq, with some beating their chests and whipping their backs with flails in a bloody display of devotion.
The Ashura procession in Islamabad ended at a Shia mosque in Rawalpindi.
A similar procession in Lahore was to end at a mosque in the old part of the city late Thursday.
Other major Ashura events were held in Karachi and parts of central Punjab province, southwestern Balochistan and North West Frontier Province.
Shias make up about 20 per cent of Pakistan's Sunni-dominated population of 160 million people. (ANI)