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Battle of Karbala (2007)
Part of the Iraq War
DateAugust 27–29, 2007
LocationKarbala, Iraq
Result Cease-fire
Iraq Iraq Flag of Jihad.svg Mahdi Army
Commanders and leaders
Hadi Al-Amiri Ali Sharia  (POW)
Casualties and losses
52 killed (including 10 policemen)[1][2]

The Battle of Karbala began on the night of August 27, 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 August 27. The government reacted by deploying more troops to the area.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki imposed a curfew on the morning of August 29 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]


  1. "Toll rises in Karbala fighting", Al Jazeera, August 28, 2007.
  2. Aswat Aliraq
  3. Iraq Militias Fighting For Supremacy Time.
  4. "Iraqi PM orders curfew in Karbala", BBC, August 29, 2007.
  5. Iraq militia chief condemned to death for Karbala killings, Agence France Presse, Aug. 30, 2008, accessed on Aug. 30, 2008

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