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    EXACT NUMBER OF IRANIAN VICTIMS IN KERBELA BLAST UNKNOWN

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    TEHRAN, March 5 (RIA Novosti) - On Friday, Iranian Consul to Baghdad Mohammed Ibrahim Kashani said the number of victims of the explosion in Kerbela had not been determined yet.

    "The exact number of those killed and wounded in Kerbela is not known. The Iranian consulate is taking measures to determine the number of victims," Mr. Kashani said.

    Mr. Kashani said, "at this time, about 50 people have died and several were injured." Some of the victims are in Iraqi hospitals and others have already been sent to Iran, Mr. Kashani added.

    For the first time in 32 years, Iranians received permission to make a pilgrimage to Kerbela, a possible site of the third Shiite Imam Hussein's death. Imam Hussein was the prophet Muhammad's grandson. Explosions occurred in Kerbela and Baghdad during a Shiite Muslim mourning procession which, at its peak about 2 million people participated in. According to sources, more than 400,000 Iranian pilgrims participated in the ceremonies in Kerbela.

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