Battle of Karbala (2007)

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The Battle of Karbala began on the night of 27 August 2007 and involved fighting between the Mahdi Army, who provided security for the pilgrims,[3] and police (who were largely members of the Badr Organization) in Karbala, Iraq.

Hundreds of thousands of Shia pilgrims gathered in the city for the annual festival of Mid-Sha'ban. Security was high as pilgrims have been killed in previous years by suicide bombers.


Shooting first started on 27 August. The government reacted by deploying more troops to the area.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki imposed a curfew on the morning of 29 August as fighting continued. Soon after, he claimed that the situation was under control.[4] The curfew ordered pilgrims to leave their devotions early and ultimately failed to stop a third bout of shooting in the evening.


The head of the Mahdi Army in Karbala, Ali Sharia, was arrested and tried over the violence. In August 2008 he was convicted and sentenced to death.[5]