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The Wadi al-Salam cemetery, in Iraq’s Shi’ite holy city of Najaf, holds millions of graves and doubling its usual rate as the nation’s death rate increases, with the war on Islamic State. Between 150 to 200 daily burials, costing about $4100 (U.S) each, are performed throughout the 10 square kilometres site.

The world’s largest cemetery, in Iraq’s Shi’ite holy city of Najaf, is expanding at double its usual rate as the nation’s death rate increased with the war on Islamic State.

Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters

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A boy digs a grave. The pace of daily burials rose to 150-200 after Islamic State, the ultra-hardline Sunni group overran a third of the country in 2014, said Jihad Abu Saybi, a historian of the cemetery.

Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters

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A man reads verses from the Koran at the grave of his relative.

Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters

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A woman holds containers which are used for washing the graves at the Wadi al-Salam cemetery.

Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters

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As land becomes scarce, the cost of a standard 25 square metre family burial lot has risen to about 5 million Iraqi dinars or $4100 (U.S.)

Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters

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The Wadi al-Salam cemetery, Arabic for “Peace Valley,” has a special place in the hearts of Shi’ite Muslims.

Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters

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A municipality worker pulls a trash container at the Wadi al-Salam cemetery.

Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters

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Men bury a body at the Wadi al-Salam cemetery.

Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters

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Millions of graves of different shapes lie in the roughly 10 square kilometres.

Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters

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A man mourns on the grave of his relative.

Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters

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