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BAGHDAD (AP) — Amid chilly temperatures and heavy safety, hundreds of black-clad pilgrims from throughout Iraq marched Thursday within the annual procession in marking the dying of a Shiite saint.

Pilgrims historically journey on foot to the shrine and burial web site of Imam Moussa al-Kadhim, the seventh of 12 Shiite imams who died in a Baghdad jail within the eighth century. The procession results in the location within the northern Baghdad neighborhood of Kadimiyah. Members put on black, with some finishing up self-flagellation to publicly specific their mourning.

Tents have been pitched alongside the kilometers of street that the pilgrims have been strolling Thursday, handing out meals and water freed from cost. Hundreds of Iraqi safety forces have been deployed throughout the town to make sure the security of the pilgrims, whereas some roads and bridges have been closed to autos to permit pedestrian site visitors solely.

Sadiq Jaffar, 27, of Baghdad, informed The Related Press he was collaborating within the pilgrimage “as a result of it is very important my identification, regardless of all the issues that the nation is going through comparable to the rise within the value of meals and the rampant corruption.”

This yr’s pilgrimage takes place simply forward of the 20-year anniversary subsequent month of the U.S. invasion of Iraq that led to the downfall of longtime dictator Saddam Hussein. Hussein had banned such pilgrimages from going down.

Throughout years of civil struggle that adopted, insurgents repeatedly focused Shiite pilgrims throughout their spiritual ceremonies.

Iraq emerged from a yearlong political stalemate with the formation of a authorities in October, however hopes for stabilization of the political and financial scenario have been shortlived.

Measures taken by the USA in latest months to stamp out cash laundering and the channeling of {dollars} to Iran and Syria from Iraq have severely restricted Iraq’s entry to laborious foreign money, resulting in devaluation of the foreign money and inflation of costs.

By Maggi

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