Iraqi security forces tackle their first major security operation without any American support.
The province's police and army units are bracing themselves for their first ride unaided as Karbala province prepares to commemorate the death of Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the third Imam of Shiite Muslims.
Karbala (108km southwest of Baghdad) has seen thousands of visitors arrive, visiting religious shrines and preparing to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussein on the 10th day of Muharram, Dec. 5. Imam Houssein was the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed.
Every year Shiite Muslims all over the world commemorate his martyrdom. Iraqi security forces used to depend on U.S. air coverage to maintain security in previous years.