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Breaking News: Violent attacks claim hundreds of lives
<big>Violent attacks claim hundreds of lives</big>

<small>Al-Jazeera LIVE</small>

Good evening from Dubai, I'm Samir Abdukhaliq, and here are your headlines at the top of the hour:

Hundreds are dead today after multiple apparent terrorist attacks hit several cities in Dominance V, a sudden and unexpected wave of violence that left horror and carnage in its wake.

Around approximately 5 p.m. local time, a large car bomb exploded outside the Imam Hussein mosque in Karbala, where Shia faithful have continued to gather in crowds weeks after a supposed miracle was performed by Muhammad Al-Hasan, who recently declared himself to be the Mahdi. One hundred and thirty-six are confirmed dead and hundreds more injured, and minor damage was done to the mosque.

This attack was only the first of at least four confirmed attacks that have occurred this evening. Around the same time, a bus convoy departing Kuwait City, bound for Mecca with more than 300 pilgrims expecting to participate in the annual Hajj, was ambushed outside the city by a group of armed gunmen. Survivors reported that there were between twenty to thirty attackers, who attacked the buses with machine guns and shoulder-fired rockets. The attackers reportedly boarded one bus and executed all people on board, but fled before dispatching all witnesses.

Reports have also come in that two more car bombs have been detonated in the city of Medina. Authorities have not confirmed yet the number of deaths and injuries from those attacks.

The targets in these attacks appear to be mostly Shia Muslims attempting to undertake the Hajj to see Muhammad al-Hasan, who has already drawn a large following across both major sects of Islam following his proclamation that he is the Mahdi. This suspicion appears to be confirmed by a group naming themselves the Holy Soldiers of Muhammad who has claimed responsibility for the attack:

(Roll video clip)

MASKED GUNMAN: (translated) This blasphemer and all who follow him have defiled the Grand Mosque and will answer to the wrath of Allah!

(end clip)

A CCD spokesman today issued a statement from Dubai condemning the attacks and urging calm and restraint, promising swift action will be taken to find and bring the perpetrators to justice. CCD officials also say they are assessing further steps to take to provide for security and protect religious practices.

Speaking from the Grand Mosque in Mecca earlier, Muhammad al-Hasan harshly denounced the attacks and promised his followers that the "hand of God" would shelter them:

AL-HASAN: "Do not fear the actions of the unbeliever as they seek to turn you from the true path. Those who have committed these attacks today against fellow Muslims are no true followers of Islam. For the messenger of God has written that God does not love the transgressor. And if your enemies make war with you, or prevent you from worship of God, then fight in the way of God those who fight you, but do not transgress."

A member of al-Hasan's private circle has also said that that al-Hasan was networking with a number of imams throughout the region to provide for increased security to protect worshipers, both those en route to Mecca and those remaining in their respective homes.

Al-Jazeera will continue to provide updates as they come on this developing story.


This just in: I'm Samir Abdukhaliq with Al-Jazeera Live in Dubai bringing you Breaking News from the Grand Mosque in Mecca, where it appears an attack is underway near the site of the Kabbah. We have correspondent Bashir Kalid Abdullah reporting live from the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Bashir?

BASHIR: (over crackling of gunfire end explosions) Samir? I've taken cover by a far wall on the middle level of the Grand Mosque and there is much confusion and panic right now, but it appears that gunmen have stormed the Grand Mosque and are firing on worshipers who are out in the open around the Kabbah. I have the camera up, are you getting the feed?

SAMIR: Audience, we are indeed getting the video but it has been deemed too graphic to show on live broadcast. Bashir, where is CDPS? How did the attackers gain access?

BASHIR: I don't know Samir, Custody security on site must have been overpowered, that's all I can tell you because there's absolutely no resistance to be seen inside the Grand Mosque complex.

SAMIR: Can you tell us anything about the identity of the attackers?

BASHIR: Not really, they're -- &lt;ping&gt; Oh, God that was close. Um, there seems to be about fifty of them inside the Grand Mosque, maybe more, they're all covered in black and have taken positions on the third and fourth levels -- they seem to just be laying into the crowd... (gasps) The horror...they're just getting cut down...there's got to be thousands and thousands down there and they're all's going to start a stampede...

*Loud boom*

SAMIR: Was that another explosion there?

BASHIR: What? My ears are ringing...I don't know what that was, I'm going to look...there's movement in the crowd. All the gunfire has stopped it seems and nobody's trampling each other, they're all stunned by whatever that noise was...

*Loud booming voice*

SAMIR: What was that? Was that the Quran being quoted?

BASHIR: I don't know where that voice came from. Honestly I'm really confused. But yes, the voice -- There must be some hidden loudspeakers and a microphone, though I've never seen a system that sounds like that -- just said "Do not fight your enemies in the Grand Mosque until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. For that is the recompense of unbelievers." Yes, that is a Quranic verse.

*Loud cracks*

SAMIR: What can you describe is happening now, Bashir?

BASHIR: .... It's... &lt;muffled noise&gt; I'm adjusting the camera. Can you see that?

SAMIR:...Yes -- Lightning, it appears to be striking...individual gunmen? Is that what you're seeing over there, Bashir?

BASHIR: Indeed, that's exactly what I'm seeing. Fifteen -- sixteen strikes now, as if the lightning is seeking out the attackers! The aggressors appear to be behaving in confusion -- some of them are jumping -- oh that's just sickening. But it appears the attack has been somehow broken off.

SAMIR: Thank you, Bashir. Audience, we'll be sure to bring you more of this story as it develops -- and as soon as we can...make sense of any of it.

Copyright Al-Jazeera News, 2045 Dubai, D.V.

Comments are: OPEN

<small>((Comments are anonymous unless you state your character's name in the time tag:

Comment: "NAME" (TIME TIMEZONE) ))
Comment: "GWB00" (4:07 PM CST)

Least the rag heads are killing each other for a change, instead of hitting the west. Wonder how long that's gonna last. Still hilarious that a white American thought he could govern the middle east.
Sounds to me like the Shia Muslims orchestrated these attacks to get the 'faithful' to 'rally round the flag'.
Comment: "GodisGreat196," 4:26 A.M. AST

Spread your vile slander elsewhere anonymous internet troll. Clearly what happened at the Grand Mosque was the doing of all-powerful and merciful God who smote the wicked with his infinite powers and spared those who fear and submit to Him and His will, how could it be otherwise. "(16:125) For thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His path, and who is rightly guided." Allah has supreme dominance over the natural forces and knows what is in the hearts of men and He would not protect deceivers because that is not the proper way. Oh and btw I'm Sunni so don't go on saying I'm just saying this because you're bashing Shias. When God's plan is complete there will be no Sunni and no Shia there will only be believers. Do the right thing and open your heart to the right path before it is too late for you.
If you were a true believer, wouldn't your name be "AllahAkbar196"? Poser.
Or rather, الله أكبر
Comment: "GodisGreat196," 4:26 A.M. AST

الله أكبر is pronounced Allahu Akbar, genius. God is Great no matter in what language I choose to write my handle. The true path will be laid out for you. Choose the right path.

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