1m Arbaeen pilgrims to enter Iraq via Shalamcheh
Shalamcheh border in Khuzestan Province, southwest of Iran, is the best crossing point for Iranian pilgrims marching toward the holy Iraqi city of Karbala to perform the rituals of Arbaeen, said managing director of Arvand Free Zone.
Esmaeil Zamani told Iran Daily that necessary steps have been taken to provide various facilities for Iranian pilgrims traveling to Karbala during the period.
He said Arbaeen pilgrims have used Shalamcheh border crossing to travel to Karbala over the past six years, adding $5 million is invested annually to create infrastructures and offer suitable services to the pilgrims marching toward Karbala for Arbaeen ritual.
The official said about 700,000 Arbaeen pilgrims crossed into Iraq from Shalamcheh last year, while the figures for the past two and three years stood at 600,000 and 400,000 respectively.
Zamani noted that a large number of pilgrims from Pakistan and other countries enter Iraq from Iran and Shalamcheh border annually.
“Adequate security has been provided for pilgrims and efforts are underway to prevent any tension,” he said.
He reiterated that suitable communication facilities have also been established in Shalamcheh, adding free Wi-fi network would be available to pilgrims during the period.
Arbaeen — one of the most revered religious occasions on the Islamic calendar — marks 40 days since Ashura when Imam Hussein (PBUH), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and third Shia Imam, was martyred in the plains of Karbala along with 72 of his companions over 13 centuries ago.