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See what the biggest cemetery in the world looks like

The world’s largest cemetery, in Iraq’s Shia holy city of Najaf, is rapidly expanding as the nation’s death rate climbs with the war on ISIS.

IRAQ CEMETERY Wadi al-Salam Peace Valley wide shot

(Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters)

‘Peace Valley’ cemetery revered by Shia Muslims.

The Wadi al-Salam cemetery, Arabic for “Peace Valley,” has a special place in the hearts of Shia Muslims as it surrounds the mausoleum of their first imam, Ali Bin Abi Talib, a cousin and son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad.

IRAQ CEMETERY Wadi al-Salam Peace Valley tombs

(Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters)

Death rate spikes with battle against ISIS.

IRAQ Wadi al-Salam Peace Valley CEMETERY Men bury body

(Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters)

The pace of burials rose from 80-120 per day to 150-200 per day after ISIS overran a third of the country in 2014, according to Jihad Abu Saybi, a historian of the cemetery.

IRAQ Wadi al-Salam Peace Valley CEMETERY boy digs grave

(Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters)

Cost of burials nearly doubles.

As land becomes scarce, the cost of a standard 25-square-metre family burial lot has risen to about 5 million Iraqi dinars ($5,466 Cdn).

IRAQ CEMETERY Residents visit graves of relatives Peace Valley

(Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters)

This is almost double the amount paid for the same lots before violence escalated as ISIS exerted control over large swaths of north and western Iraq in 2014.

IRAQ Peace Valley CEMETERY undertaker smokes shisha

(Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters)

Residents tend to the graves of their relatives.

IRAQ Peace Valley CEMETERY woman washes grave of relative

(Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters)

Family members of those buried at Peace Valley cemetery often come to wash the graves of their loved ones.

IRAQ Peace Valley CEMETERY containers used for washing graves

(Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters)

Tombs reflect wealth of the dead.

Often built with baked bricks and plaster, decorated with Koranic calligraphy, some graves are underground while others are above-ground tombs, reflecting the wealth of those within.

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