Iraqi officials said they have successfully carried out a plan to ensure the security of pilgrims converging on the holy city of Najaf, south of Iraq, to mark the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Ali (PBUH).
In a statement on Monday, the central Euphrates operations command said the Iraqi security forces have managed to implement a plan to provide security for the pilgrims gathering in Najaf to pay tribute to Imam Ali (PBUH) on his martyrdom anniversary and to mark Laylat al-Qadr.
Highlighting the success of the security scheme, Iraq’s Defense Ministry said Major General Qais Khalaf al-Mohammedawi, head of the central Euphrates operations command, has been overseeing the operation in person, Alforat reported.
In another successful operation in Baghdad, the security forces prevented an explosive-laden vehicle from entering the capital.
Officials said the affiliates of Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group had plans to deploy the car bomb into Baghdad, but the security forces at a checkpoint in Abu Ghraib road foiled the plot.
Each year in the Islamic month of Ramadan, Iraq steps up security in the holy city of Najaf to ensure the security of pilgrims.
A large number of Shiites from Iran and other countries travel to Najaf to mark the martyrdom of Imam Ali (PBUH) on 21st of Ramadan (the 9th month in the lunar Hijri calendar).
The shrine of Imam Ali (PBUH), Shiites' first imam, is located in Najaf, 160 kilometers south of Baghdad. The city is now a great center of pilgrimage from around the Shiite Islamic world.
(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)