TEHRAN – More than 14 million people are participating in the Arbaeen procession in Iraq, officials of the Karbala Province said.
Jassim al-Fatlawi, deputy governor of Karbala, said more pilgrims are arriving in Karbala for the annual procession.
He added that estimates show the number of Arbaeen pilgrims this year will be higher than last year’s.
The official also noted that a security plan has been launched in Karbala Province and providing the pilgrims with welfare and health services continues.
Meanwhile, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who has traveled to Karbala, held a meeting with provincial officials about security plans and services for the pilgrims.
He underlined the need for remaining vigilant to ensure security in Karbala and said serving Arbaeen pilgrims is a major human, moral and religious duty.
Arbaeen marks the 40th day that followed the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS), the third Shia Imam, and his 72-strong companions in the Battle of Karbala, in what is now southern Iraq, in 680 AD. The battle featured an unjust fight between Imam Hussein (AS) and his army and the hugely outnumbered army of the Umayyad caliph of the time, Yazid I.
Each year, millions of Muslim mourners set out on a symbolic 80-kilometer-long walk that begins from the holy city of Najaf in Iraq, where Imam Hussein’s (AS) father Imam Ali (AS)’s shrine is located, to the holy city of Karbala that houses Imam Hussein’s (AS) shrine.
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