Saturday, April 13, 2024

‘Over 6,000 pilgrims entering Iraq from Iran’s Mehran border crossing daily’

An Iranian official says over 6,000 pilgrims are currently entering Iraq from Iran’s western Mehran border crossing on a daily basis, as the neighboring country is preparing to host a large Shia mourning ceremony in a few weeks.

Ali Abbas Shafiei, governor of Mehran, told Mehr News Agency that every day, some 12,000 people use the border crossing in the Western Iranian city, which was reopened in June 2020 following its closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Out of them, over 6,000 are the pilgrims who enter Iraq, which hosts the holy shrine of Imam Hussein and other revered Shia Muslim figures.

He said Mehran had made all the infrastructural facilities for temporarily hosting the pilgrims heading for Iraq.

Pilgrims have been increasingly visiting Iraq since the start of the Islamic calendar month of Muharram, when Shia Muslims mourn the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein, the third Shia Imam.

Iraq has lifted the visa requirements for Iranian pilgrims.

Iraq is currently making preparations for Arba’een, the fortieth day since the martyrdom of Imam Hussein in Karbala in 680.

In what has been known as the world’s largest gathering, millions of Muslim mourners set out each year on a symbolic 80-kilometer-long walk that begins from the holy city of Najaf in Iraq to the holy city of Karbala, which is home to Imam Hussein’s shrine.

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