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In photos: Desperation and devotion as Muslim world marks start of Ramadan

Iraqi refugees scramble for food to break their fast as millions of Muslims worldwide mark Islam's holy month

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Displaced Iraqis run behind a meal-distribution truck at a camp in the Khazer area outside Erbil, northern Iraq, on Sunday, as they scramble for meals to break their fast on the first day of Ramadan. The chaotic scene underscored the fearful insecurity of displaced Iraqis as they begin Ramadan in a nation threatened by conflict and political rivalries among Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds.

HUSSEIN MALLA/ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Iranian women attend an evening meal at the shrine of Shia Saint Abdulazim during in Shahr-e-Ray, south of Tehran, on Sunday. Ramadan is a Muslim holy month of fasting during which Muslims abstain from food, drink and other pleasures from sunrise to sunset.

VAHID SALEMI/ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Syrian refugees pray outside their tent at a Syrian refugee camp in the eastern town of Marj in Lebanon’s Bekaa valley on Sunday. More than a million people have fled Syria to escape a three-year-long civil war and, more recently, the onslaught of Islamic State in Iraq and Levant, a Sunni militant group claiming large swaths of Syria and Iraq as their new, medieval-style Muslim caliphate.

BILAL HUSSEIN/ASSOCIATED PRESS

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A crescent moon is seen over a mosque after sunset in Karachi on Sunday. Karachi marks Ramadan after weeks of clashes between Pakistan’s government and the Taliban, which launched an attack on the Karachi airport on June 8, killing 34 people.

AKHTAR SOOMRO/REUTERS

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An Afghan man reads the Koran at a Kabul mosque on Sunday. Afghanistan marks Ramadan as rival presidential candidates await the release of election results in a hotly contested race that challenger Abdullah Abdullah says has been riddled with fraud.

OMAR SOBHANI/REUTERS

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A Malaysian Muslim prays during a lunch break at a mosque in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.

SAMSUL SAID/REUTERS

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Students at an Islamic boarding school perform prayers at a mosque on the first day of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Medan, North Sumatra, on Sunday.

YT HARYONO/REUTERS

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A girl recites the Koran at the Grand Mosque in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital, on Sunday.

KHALED ABDULLAH/REUTERS

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Muslims wait to have their iftar meal at Prince Turki bin Abdullah mosque in Riyadh on Sunday. Iftar is the meal Muslims who observe Ramadan use to break their fast at sunset.

FAISAL AL NASSER/REUTERS

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A volunteer serves iftar for free at “charity tables” on a street in Cairo on Sunday.

ASMAA WAGUIH/REUTERS

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A Palestinian vendor sells a bag of fried dough ball sweets, locally called awwamaat, at a shop in the West Bank city of Nablus on Sunday.

NASSER ISHTAYEH/ASSOCIATED PRESS

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A Palestinian boy reads the Qu’ran, Islam's holy book, in the Al-Omari mosque in Gaza City on Sunday.

HATEM MOUSSA/ASSOCIATED PRESS

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A woman eats a piece of bread after breaking fast with other devotees at Niujie Mosque in Beijing on Sunday.

KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

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A boy watches helpers distribute food as he waits to break fast at a mosque in Singapore on Sunday.

EDGAR SU/REUTERS

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