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Thousands of people joined Ashura celebrations in Tehran, as Muslims across the globe paid tribute to the third Imam of Shia Muslims, Husayn ibn Ali.

People marched through the streets chanting, waving flags and self-flagellating. They also gathering in a square to erect and burn down a symbolic tent.

Attendee Mohammad Moshtagh Ahmadi said that news coverage of these ceremonies is important to show the "unity" of Muslims to the world.

"Ashura means freedom. Imam Hussein sacrificed himself for us. He sacrificed himself that we do not forget about Islam," said festival attendee, Monireh Moghaddasi.

Ashura, which takes place on the tenth day of Muharram in the Islamic Hijri calendar, is a day of mourning which commemorates the killing of Hussain ibn Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, as well as his family and companions in the Battle of Karbala on 10 Muharram, 61 AH (10 October 680 AD).

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