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    AZERBAIJAN'S MOSLEM SHIITES CELEBRATE ASHURA

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    BAKU, MARCH 2 (RIA NOVOSTI)-Azerbaijan's Shiite Moslems are commemorating the third Shiite imam Husein, Prophet Muhammad's grand-son killed on the tenth day ("ashura" in Arabic) of the first month of the Moslem lunar year "muharram". This happened in the 7th century close to the town of Kerbela on the territory of modern Iraq. Husein's alleged tomb has become one of the greatest Shiite shrines attracting many pilgrims.

    Thousands of people in all mosques of the country attended this Tuesday religious ceremonies connected with Ashura, according to the Moslem Board of the Caucasus. The latter has recommended the pious believers to give up the historical ritual of shedding one's blood by rythmically hitting one's chest and back with specially-bundled ropes. As a compensation, one can participate in mosque campaigns of donating one's blood to people sick with progressing forms of anaemia.

    To this end, mobile blood transfusion installations, set up in mosques by the health ministry, are available.

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