04 Nov 2014 08:00
November 4, 2014
Amidst tight security, Lebanese Shia citizens defy ISIS bomb threats and participate in Ashura celebrations in Beirut's southern suburbs.
Ashura commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Hussein in the battle of Karbala in 680AD. While primarily a religious celebration, Ashura in Lebanon is highly tied to politics. This year's rally in south Beirut ended with a speech by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who defended his party's military actions in Syria.
Sunni militant groups like ISIS and Nusra Front have been threatening to attack Hezbollah controlled and Shia dominant areas in Lebanon in revenge for Hezbollah's involvement in the Syrian conflict. Last year, Beirut's southern suburbs experienced a wave bombings at the hands of Nusra affiliated militants.