Karbala (governorate)

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Basic data
Country Iraq
Capital Karbala
surface 5285 km²
Residents 1,151,200 (2014)
density 218 inhabitants per km²
ISO 3166-2 IQ-KA

Coordinates: 32 ° 30 '  N , 44 ° 0'  E

Kerbela ( Arabic كربلاء, DMG Karbalāʾ ) is a governorate southwest of Baghdad . The capital is Karbala .


Karbala is located 105 km southwest of Baghdad and is adjacent to the governorates of al-Anbar in the north and west, Najaf in the south and Babil in the east. Karbala has an area of ​​52,856 km².

The governorate is divided into three districts:

  • Ain at-Tamur
  • al-Hindiyya
  • Karbala


In Karbala there are hot and dry summers with up to over 50 ° C and mild winters with at least 19 ° C. Karbala is dry and part of the governorate belongs to the Syrian desert.


The population of Karbala is 1,151,200 (as of 2014). Almost 100% of the population are Arabs . 99.99% of the population are Muslim . Over 95% of them are Shiites and 5% Sunnis .


Ashura commemorations in January 2008

A battle near the city of Karbala on October 10, 680 between Husain and troops of the caliph Yazid I over the leadership of the caliphate led to the death of Husain and the separation between the two camps, later known as Shiites and Sunnis. An army of 12,000 Wahhabi soldiers occupied Karbala in April 1802, killing 4,000 of the population. The soldiers destroyed holy places of Shiism that later had to be renovated. In March 2004, more than 110 people were killed in an attack on the Husain mosque during the Ashura holiday . On October 15, 2005, 96.58% of the 264,674 voters voted yes for the new constitution.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Iraq: Governorates, Regions & Major Cities - Population