Iran shuts 2 border crossings with Iraq in wake of civil unrest in Baghdad

Iraq Protests
Iraq Protests

Baghdad, Oct 3: Two border intersections among Iran and Iraq, including one due to be utilized by a huge number of Shi’ite Muslim pilgrims at a yearly journey this month, have been shut as a result of distress in Iraq, Tehran’s border guards said on Thursday.

Iranian border monitors administrator General Qasem Rezaei said the Khosravi and Chazabeh intersections had been shut since late Wednesday, Iran’s semi-official Mehr news office revealed.

A senior Iranian pilgrimage authority told state-run TV the Khosravi fringe intersection was shut, yet different intersections were open before a yearly Shi’ite Muslim pilgrimage in Iraq.

Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said a week ago 3 million Iranian explorers were expected to pay a visit to Iraq’s southern province of Karbala later this month for the religious custom of Arbaeen, which denotes the end of a 40-day grieving period for the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad.

Iraq’s security forces have on Thursday open fired in the air in an attempt to disperse anti-government protesters summoned at Tahrir Square in capital Baghdad.

Following the second day of clash between anti-government protesters and security forces, Iraq Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has on Wednesday imposed curfew in Baghdad and other several cities in the wake of the mass rallies against poor services, lack of jobs and corruption.

Security forces fired live rounds and tear gas in an attempt to disperse the pro-democratic protesters in various suburbs.

The government assured it will address anti-government protesters’ concerns while accusing unnamed “rioters” of civil unrest in the nation.

The United Nations (UN) has called on Iraq to exercise maximum restraint. “Every individual has the right to speak freely, in keeping with the law,” UN special envoy Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said.

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