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Iran shuts borders with Iraq as millions of Shiite pilgrims arrive for Arbaeen

Iraq is struggling with the large number of Shiite pilgrims, at least 5 million — mostly from Iran — who entered Iraq over the last few days to attend the Arbaeen ceremony.
A Shiite Muslim pilgrim marches with a flag bearing the image of Imam Hussein.

Millions of Shiite pilgrims are coming to Iraq to participate in the Shiite religious observance of Arbaeen. While many have been traveling by land, using Iran-Iraq border crossings, these were shut today due to control the surge in inflows.

The holy day, which begins next Friday evening and lasts through Saturday evening, commemorates the 40th day after the Day of Ashura, the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

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