Muslim Shiites mark their most important religious ceremony

Hundreds of men, boys, and several women, are commemorating the 7th century martyrdom of Prophet's Muhammad's grandson Hussein, in a Shiite tradition in Lebanon's south by lashing their foreheads and backs in a blood-soaked, open air parade.

Wednesday's ceremony was an ode to devotion to Hussein, killed on Ashoura, or the 10th day of battle in Karbala, in modern day Iraq, in 680 AD. The battle and his death marked the first major schism in Islam.

In the courtyard of the historic mosque of the southern town of Nabaityeh, boys as young as three wailed in bewilderment as they received incisions with a razor blade on their foreheads, to facilitate bleeding from the lashes.

Women, too, proceeded to the courtyard to cut their foreheads and pound their brows.