6709
Pilgrims Flock to Karbala, Gov't Fears Attack
International

Pilgrims Flock to Karbala, Gov't Fears Attack

From across Iraq and neighboring states, millions of Shia pilgrims are heading this week to the city of Karbala for a religious ceremony that authorities say extremists are targeting for attack.
Already hundreds of thousands of Shis faithful, many from adjacent Iran, have visited Karbala for rituals which culminate in Saturday's Arbain holy day -- the last of 40 days' mourning for the death in battle of Imam Hussein 13 centuries ago.
Roads and highways across Iraq have been filled with black-clad pilgrims heading on foot to Karbala, a journey which can take days, carrying banners bearing Imam Hussein's image, Reuters reported. Arbain, a defining ritual of Shia Islam, has frequently been marred by militant attacks. This year it unfolds for the first time since IS militants seized control of much of north and west Iraq.
"We have information that they will try to infiltrate crowds of pilgrims and kill civilians everywhere," Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said this week during a visit to Karbala, about 50 miles (80 km) south-west of Baghdad.
Abadi said security forces would thwart any attempt to disrupt Arbain, but they face a double challenge. Not only are many troops diverted to tackle IS militants elsewhere -- forcing authorities to rely more heavily on Shia militia to keep order -- but this year's flood of foreign visitors has been swollen by Iraq's decision to ease visa requirements for Arbain pilgrims.

Short URL : http://goo.gl/vRpTZ3

You can also read ...

Palestinians Slam US Embassy Move as Provocation
The Palestinian leadership on Friday slammed a US decision to...
Signaling Rift, Djibouti Seizes  UAE-Run Port
The government of Djibouti has seized control of a container...
No End in Sight for Crisis With Qatar, Says Saudi Minister
Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister pointed out on Friday that...
Twin Car Bombings Kill Nearly 40 in Somalia's Mogadishu
Twin car bombings and subsequent gunfire have left at least 38...
Donald Trump speaks during the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference  at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, on February 23.
US President Donald Trump has rolled out fresh sanctions...
The United Nations said earlier this month that more than 10,000 civilians had  been killed or wounded in the ongoing  war in Afghanistan in 2017.
Taliban militants attacked an Afghan army post overnight on...
EU Opens Door for Balkan States, But Hurdles Remain
The European Union has offered some of the six Balkan states...
German Conservatives Call for Shift to Right as Merkel Decides Cabinet Posts
Several senior German conservatives called on Saturday for...

Trending

Googleplus