20 million pilgrims this year in Karbala for Arba’een.

More Shia pilgrims from around the world came into Karbala to commemorate the religious ceremony,
which marks the 40th day after the martyrdom of , Imam Hussein a.s. According to Iraqi authorities, some 20 million people arrived in the holy city for Saturday 13th December. The Arba’een ceremony, which is one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, was on December 13 this year. Iraqi forces tightened security to protect the pilgrims against terrorist attacks. The Iraqi government also adopted measures for an easier evacuation of pilgrims from Karbala. Of around four million pilgrims who have come to Iraq this year, some 1.6 million are Iranians. Imam Hussain a.s and his 72 companions were martyred in the battle of Karbala on the day of Ashura in 680, after refusing to pledge allegiance to the tyrant ruler (Yazid ibn Muvia) of his time.