Monday, November 30, 2015

Iraq blames Iran for border chaos ahead of major Shiite ritual

Iraq on Monday blamed Iran for chaos on border as thousands of foreign pilgrims stormed the fences and wounded border guards to illegally enter the country for a major Shiite ritual.

Stampede took place at Zurbatiyah border crossing point with Iran during the last two days, the Iraqi Interior Ministry said in a statement.

Apparently dozens of thousands of pilgrims did not obtain visas to enter the country, the ministry added, holding Iranian authorities responsible for the chaos.

"We hold the Iranian side responsible for (the incident) because they did not abide by their duties and obligations in a manner that would prevent the breakdown of the situation on the border crossing point," it said.

It further said that the uncontrolled flow of crowds was deliberate to exercise pressure on officials of the crossing point so it will be illegally opened under the pretext that the Iranian side could not control the entrants from Iran.

Previously, an agreement was reached between the two countries for the Iranian side to prevent individuals who did not get visas from approaching the Iraqi side of the border crossing point, according to the statement.

Millions of Shiite pilgrims from the Muslim world travel to Iraq heading to the holy Shiite city of Karbala, some 110 km south of Baghdad, to observe Arbaeen rituals for Imam Hussein, ahead of its climax day on Thursday.

Arbaeen is the 40th day after the death of Imam Hussein, Prophet Muhammad's grandson and the third holy figure for the Shiite Muslim sect. He was killed in the battle of Karbala in 680 A.D. and is buried in Iraq.

 Xinhua -

1 comment:

  1. 5 Killed, 17 Wounded in Suicide Bomb Attack Against Shiite Pilgrims in Baghdad...

    An Interior Ministry source said five people were killed while 17 others were injured on Monday in a suicide bomb attack against Shiite pilgrims in the northern section of Baghdad.

    The source said a suicide bomber donning an explosive vest blew himself up at a security checkpoint among a crowd of Shiite pilgrims in the Shaab district of Baghdad.

    The pilgrims were on their way to the Shiite city of Karbala to celebrate the Arbaeen religious ritual ahead of its peak day next Thursday. The ritual marks the 40th day after the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad and the third revered figure for Shiite Muslims.


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