Worshippers were gathered for the Shiite festival of Ashura in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 when a suicide bomber hit the packed streets near the Abul Fazal shrine on the riverbank in the capital’s old city. Photographer Joel van Houdt was there taking pictures of the celebrations when the bomb went off. Afghan officials said at least 55 people, many of them children and women, were killed and more than 160 others wounded. All photographs by Joel van Houdt for The Wall Street Journal.
Afghan Shia Muslim’s cry near dead and injured after explosions during a religious ceremony in the centre of Kabul on December 6, 2011. At least 30 people were killed in an explosion at a Kabul shrine where Shia Muslims were marking the Day of Ashura Tuesday, an AFP photographer saw. The blast came in the city centre where Shias had gathered to carry out religious rituals to mark the day, a public holiday in Afghanistan.
[Credit : Massoud Hossaini/AFP/Getty]
Dozens of people were killed in a series of attacks on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011 when bombers struck Shiite religious observances in three cities. A young Shiite boy waited outside the site of one of the attacks, on an Ashura commemoration in Kabul.
[Credit : Bryan Denton/The New York Times]
A man carries a wounded boy after a suicide blast targeting a Shiite Muslim gathering in Kabul on Dec. 6, 2011. A suicide bomber attacked a Shiite Muslim shrine in central Kabul, where a crowd of hundreds had gathered Tuesday for the festival of Ashoura, killing at least 54 people and injuring dozens more in an unprecedented sectarian attack. The attacker blew himself up in the midst of a crowd of men, women and children. The mosque had been packed with worshippers and many who could not fit inside were outside the building. Afghanistan has a history of tension and violence between Sunnis and the Shiite minority but while such attacks have become commonplace in neighboring Pakistan and parts of the Middle East such as Iraq, they have not previously occurred in Afghanistan.
[Credit : Najibullah Musafer / Reuters]
A member of the faithful wears a shirt printed with a picture of Pope Benedict as he attends a mass celebrated by Pope Benedict at the Stade de l’Amitie (Friendship Stadium) in Benin’s economic capital Cotonou November 20, 2011. The pope celebrated a big open-air Mass at the stadium on Sunday, capping his three-day pastoral trip to Africa where he appealed to leaders to serve their people honestly and to developed nations to shun a condescending, know-it-all attitude towards the continent.
[Credit : Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters]
Anti-government protesters perform weekly Friday prayers, during a rally to demand the of trial of Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh and against the proposed immunity for Saleh, in Sanaa, Yemen, November 18, 2011.
[Credit : Mohamed al-Sayaghi/Reuters]