Around two million pilgrims from Iraq and other countries have converged on the city of Samarr for mourning rituals marking the martyrdom anniversary of Ali ibn Mohammad (AS), the tenth Shiite Imam.
According to top Iraqi military commander Emad al-Zuhairi, the huge crowd of pilgrims performed the religious rites in full security.
The city of Samarra hosts the shrines of Imam Hadi (AS) and his son Imam Hassan al-Askari (AS), the tenth and eleventh Shiite Imams. In 2006 and 2007, bomb attacks by extremists caused damage to parts of the shrine complex.
Given the threat posed by the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group in Iraq, the Arab country’s security forces have stepped up security measures in Shiite-majority cities, particularly at religious sites.
(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)