Iran's Deputy Interior Minister for Security Affairs Hossein Zolfaghari says some 2 million pilgrims from Iran have so far entered Iraq to participate in the religious gathering of Arbaeen in Karbala.
AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): Iran's Deputy Interior Minister for Security Affairs Hossein Zolfaghari says some 2 million pilgrims from Iran have so far entered Iraq to participate in the religious gathering of Arbaeen in Karbala.
Zolfaghari, who is also the head of Iran's central Arbaeen headquarters, added that this year the number of personal cars and passenger vehicles travelling to the neighboring country has observed a ten-fold increase in comparison with last year.
Concurrent with the Arbaeen march that millions of people set foot on the road to reach the holy city of Karbala, over 911,000 vehicles and 2,050 buses have received permits to enter the Iraqi soil in a bid to facilitate the pilgrims’ transportation during the busy days, he added.
The deputy minister noted that the government has increased the number of visa issuance offices this year, to reduce the time people have to spend in queues. According to officials, currently visa issuance for Arbaeen pilgrims takes less than a day and it is predicted that some 200,000 more visas will be issued over the next few days.
Pointing to the foreign pilgrims heading toward the holy city of Karbala from Iran, Zolfaghari said that 50,000 Afghan nationals residing in Iran have also registered their names to recieve viasa for attending Arbaeen trek.
Besides, over 75,000 other pilgrims have entered Iran from different neighboring states to pass through the country and participate in the annual ceremony.
Arbaeen pilgrimage, which is also known as Arbaeen trek, is a spiritual trip participated by hundreds of thousands of Shia and Sunni Muslims as well as followers of other religions such as Christians and Zoroastrians, etc. every year to mark the end of the 40-day mourning period of Imam Hossein (AS).
Every year pilgrims start their walk from various cities to the holy shrine of Imam Hossein (AS) in Karbala days or even weeks before Arbaeen- 40th day of Imam Hossein (AS) martyrdom falling on October 30- to grieve the doleful passing of the Imam and his loyal companions at the Battle of Karbala on Muharram 10 in the year 61 AH (680 CE).
According to reports, last year some 2.3 million Iranian pilgrims took part in the spiritual exercise.