Thousands of Bahraini pilgrims expected in Iraq for Ashura

Thousands of Bahraini pilgrims expected in Iraq for Ashura

Thousands of Bahrainis are expected in Iraq’s holy cities of Najaf and Karbala for Ashura commemorations this week despite calls by the government in Manama to avoid travel to Iraq.

AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): Thousands of Bahrainis are expected in Iraq’s holy cities of Najaf and Karbala for Ashura commemorations this week despite calls by the government in Manama to avoid travel to Iraq.

Bahraini tour operators, which reported that an estimated 8,000 religious pilgrims are scheduled to travel to Iraq, are coming under increasing pressure to cancel all trips.

Over the weekend, the foreign ministry in Manama urged all Bahraini nationals to leave Iraq immediately “due to the current unrests”.

The call came after days of unrest in the southern Iraqi city of Basra where more than a dozen people were killed during protests over endemic corruption, rising unemployment, and a lack of basic utilities.

But Bahrainis appear to be undeterred with 15 buses loaded with hundreds of pilgrims already having departed the kingdom on Sunday.

Ashura is the culmination of a 10-day annual mourning period during the Islamic lunar month of Muharram, which honors the martyrdom of Prophet Mohammad’s grandson, Imam Hussein.


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