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Iran Reopens Iraq Border Crossing Shut amid Unrest




Iran on Monday reopened a border crossing with Iraq shut days ago at the request of Baghdad which is facing a wave of deadly protests, semi-official news agency ISNA said.
The border post at Khosravi was reopened in the morning and "a group of Arbaeen pilgrims headed towards Iraq's holy shrines", said Jafar Hemmati, who heads a committee dealing with the festival in Kermanshah province.
It had been closed on Thursday due to "problems in Iraq and at the request of the Iraqi authorities," ISNA reported.
Iranians are heading to the Iraqi holy city of Karbala for an annual Shiite pilgrimage that will culminate on October 17 with the annual Arbaeen commemoration.
Arbaeen is one of the world's biggest religious festivals and marks the end of the 40-day mourning period for the seventh-century killing of Imam Hussein by the forces of the Caliph Yazid.
Around 1.8 million Iranians made the Arbaeen pilgrimage last year, according to official figures.
More than 100 people have been killed in Iraq since clashes erupted last week between protesters and security forces, the majority of them demonstrators struck by bullets.
The Iraqi authorities have accused "saboteurs" and unidentified snipers of targeting the protesters.

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