The commander of the Baghdad Operations, Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir al-Shammari, announced that the security services have completed the necessary plans to protect Arba’een. Shammari said in a press release, that the security plan will begin on Wednesday. Iraqi forces have taken tight security measures to protect Shi’ite visitors from terrorist operations that have targeted them in previous years.
A source in the province of Basra (560 km south of Baghdad ) told us that thousands of Shi’ite pilgrims began walking 5 days ago. From the provinces of Maysan, Dhi Qar and Wasit , the citizens also began walking to the city of Karbala amid tight security. A source said to us on condition of anonymity, the entry number was 460,000 Iranian visitors during the past two days across the provinces of Wasit, Maysan and Basra.
He added there are 700 private bus transfers. Visitors have been allocated 500 buses to transport them coming from Zurbatiyah to Kut, Wasit province, and the allocation of the other 200 buses will move towards Kut, Karbala and Najaf. He explained that there are 2300 trucks loaded with food and pharmaceutical materials that will enter Iraq to promote logistical support from the Iranian government.
He explained that the number of Iranian visitors will be between 2-3 million. A security source said there will be 25,000 security personnel for the protection of visitors to Karbala.
The pilgrimage known as Arba’een is one of the most important visits to Shi’ite Muslims. Shi’ites from all countries must make pilgrimage. It commemorates the death of Imam Hussein, the third imam of the Twelver Shiites.
About Guest Contributor:
Methaq al-Fayydh is a journalist with Italy’s Agenzia Nova. He has previously worked with Al-Alam, Eni Oil Magazine and other newspapers.
He is a member of the National Union of Iraqi Journalists, a member of the Federation of Iraqi correspondents and has won journalism awards in Iraq.
You Can Follow Him At: @alfayth