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3/20/2006 World News: Iraq Security Tightens for Shi'ite Holiday


Iraq: Hundreds of thousands of Shi'ite pilgrims are celebrating a religious holiday amid tight security in Iraq's holy city of Karbala.
Officials say pilgrims, many wearing black and waving black, green or red flags, streamed through Karbala today (Monday), beating themselves with their fists or with chains.
The Shi'ites are holding ceremonies to mark Arbayeen, the end of the 40-day mourning period for the Prophet Muhammad's grandson, Imam Hussein, killed in the seventh century.
Thousands of Iraqi police and soldiers have been deployed around Karbala to guard against the kind of sectarian violence witnessed in Samarra last month when the bombing of a Shi'ite mosque sparked a wave of reprisals.

UN/Iran: The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany meet today (Monday) to discuss new ways to break a deadlock on Iran's controversial nuclear program.
U.N. officials say senior diplomats from the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany are expected to focus on broader, long-range issues surrounding Iran's nuclear ambitions.
The high-level meeting comes as the 15-member Security Council attempts to reach consensus on a draft document that would require the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency to report its findings on Iran's nuclear program within two weeks. The document also calls on Iran to suspend uranium enrichment activities.

India-Bangladesh: The prime minister of Bangladesh, Khaleda Zia, arrives in India today (Monday) on her first visit there since taking office in 2001.
Indian officials say terrorism will be a key talking point during Ms. Zia's trip.
India has expressed concern over anti-Indian militant groups it says work out of Bangladesh. Dhaka denies cross-border insurgents operate on its soil and also points to its recent crackdown on its own Islamic militants, blamed for bombings throughout the country.
India is also expected to raise concerns about the illegal migration of Bangladeshis to India.

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