Mourning processions of Muharram are being taken out in Kabul despite -15 ˚C chill.
Security measures have been chalked out in sensitive districts of the country, with deployment of police personnel and other security forces in the wake of any untoward incident. In capital Kabul routes of the main procession would be sealed on the eve of Ashura.
The tight security arrangements apparently come in the wake of past violence in Herat that resulted in loss of life of Hazara mourners.
The main procession set out from Dasht-e-Barchi and ended in Cinema-e-Pamir. Other processions from different parts of the city later joined there.
Mourners chanted religious slogans, recited nauhas and mourned by beating their chests and backs. They also did kardi zani, a fairly new way of mourning that has been adopted from Pakistan.
Larger processions will take place on the 10th Muharram, which will mark the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (AS) and his progeny and companion.
Hazaras in Afghanistan have been subjugated and oppressed in the past, especially during the brutal Taliban regime. Thousands of Shiites and Hazaras were killed by Taliban, who had banned Ashura processions and Muharram commemorations.