The Arbaeen Pilgrimage, the largest annual public gatheringin the world; PHOTO by INDEPENDENT

Iraqi security forces have dismantled a terrorist cell that was planning attacks on Shia Muslims during annual mourning rituals of Arba’een.

Iraq’s Security Media Cell announced in a statement released on Saturday the security forces in Samarra, north of Iraqi capital Baghdad, managed to detain a network of terrorists consisting of six criminals planning an attack during the pilgrimage of Arba'een.


"Their arrest was made following a qualitative and proactive operation, and based on accurate information. Among the detainees is a woman, who is the wife of a notorious terrorist in Syria," the statement noted.

Earlier, the Baghdad Operational Command reported that 78 people have been detained around the country since August on suspicion of plotting terrorist attacks during the A'shura commemorations in Iraq's holy city of Karbala.

The Arba'een Pilgrimage is the world's largest annual public gathering that is held every year in Karbala, Iraq at the end of the 40-day mourning period following Ashura, the religious ritual for the commemoration of the martyrdom of the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny) and the third Shia Imam, Hossein ibn Ali in 680 AD.

Anticipating Arba'een, or the fortieth day after the martyrdom, the pilgrims make their journey to Karbala on foot where Imam Hossein (PBUH) and his companions were martyred and beheaded by the army of tyrant Yazid in the battle of Karbala.

The Arba'een pilgrimage will take place from October 19-20.


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