Published on : Friday, November 25, 2016
Almost 20 million Shia Muslim pilgrims took part in a huge march to the city of Karbala near the city of Baghdad on 20th and 21st November in order to celebrate the holy day of ‘Arbaeen’ to celebrate famous Muslim martyr. Usually during the day of Arbaeen, the travellers visit the shrines of Abbas and Imam Hussein in Karbala.
The head of Karbala provincial council, Nusayyef al-Khattabi informed that he expected almost 17 million to 20 million religious travellers to visit the region during Arbaeen.
Several of the spiritual travellers reached the ISIS controlled area of Karbala by foot, despite of the fact that the extremists target pilgrims to launch deadly attacks frequently.
Even after 80 pilgrims were killed recently on their way back from Karbala, over 20 million Shia Muslims chose to travel to the shrines in order to stand against the extremists.
In order to ensure the safety of the travellers in Karbala and Baghdad, the local authorities strengthened their security operations by involving over 24,000 soldiers and police officers during Arbaeen.
Although the pilgrimage is one of the largest in the world, due to the lack of media coverage, it is given much less preference than ‘Hajj’ pilgrimage to Mecca.