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Iraq: Safwan Border Crossing overwhelmed as thousands of pilgrims head to holy shrines to observe Arafah Day

Mayor of Sawfa district in Basra, Iraq, Talib Khalil announced on Saturday that unprecedented numbers of pilgrims from the Gulf countries are entering the country through Safwan Border Crossing with Kuwait, with over 10,000 arrivals in the past week.

These pilgrims are coming to Iraq to participate in the Arafah Pilgrimage in Holy Karbala and Holy Najaf and to celebrate Eid al-Adha with relatives across various Iraqi cities.

In light of the increasing numbers, Khalil called for greater flexibility in official measures, such as using manual visas instead of relying solely on electronic visas, which can sometimes face technical issues due to poor internet connectivity.

In a related context, Majid Mir Ahmadi, head of the Iranian Arbaeen Committee, expected that 4.5 to 5 million Iranian pilgrims will travel to Iraq to participate in this year’s Holy Arba’een Pilgrimage of Imam Hussein, peace be upon him.

Ahmadi confirmed that the Khosravi Border Crossing is the main entry point for Iranian visitors to Iraq, noting significant improvements in its infrastructure compared to previous years.

Ahmadi also revealed ongoing discussions with Iraqi officials to allow Iranian buses to enter the country, aiming to transport visitors to the holy shrines.

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