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In pictures: Millions of pilgrims commemorate Arbaeen in Karbala Open in fullscreen

The New Arab & agencies

In pictures: Millions of pilgrims commemorate Arbaeen in Karbala

One of the biggest gatherings in the world takes place in Iraq [Getty]

Date of publication: 21 November, 2016

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Millions of Shia Muslims have made the pilgrimage to Karbala to commemorate the 40th day after the death of Hussein, son of Ali and grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

Millions of Shia Muslims have made the pilgrimage to the holy Iraqi city of Karbala for Arbaeen, one of the largest religious processions in the world.

The act is to remember the death of Hussein, the son of Ali and grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, who remains an iconic figure in Shia Islam.

Despite worries over security - with Iraqi forces battling hardline Islamic State militants in the north of the country - the occasion was largely peaceful with Iraqis on the road to Karbala ready to welcome an expected 22 million visitors, making it one of the biggest gatherings in history.

Shia Muslim pilgrims gather in the holy city of Karbala [Getty]

A pilgrim cries during a mourning procession [Getty]
Muslim pilgrims flagellate themselves during the mourning procession [Getty]
A pilgrim looks on during the mourning procession [Getty]
A pilgrim receives medical attention as he arrives at the entrance to the central Iraqi city of Karbala [Getty]

Shia Muslim pilgrims walk on a road on the southern outskirts of Baghdad as they head towards the holy city of Karbala [Getty]

Grand Ayatollah Sheikh Bashir Hussain Najafi, one of the five Grand Ayatollahs in Iraq, walks through the Iraqi shrine city of Najaf towards the holy city of Karbala [Getty]

Shia Muslim pilgrims walk on a road on the southern outskirts of Baghdad as they head towards the holy city of Karbala [Getty]

Shia Muslim pilgrims walk on a road on the southern outskirts of Baghdad as they head towards the holy city of Karbala [Getty]
Pilgrims carry flags as they arrive at the entrance to the central Iraqi city of Karbala, [Getty]

Pilgrims are offered refreshments at the entrance to the central Iraqi city of Karbala [Getty]

Shia Muslims cook food on a road on the southern outskirts of Baghdad to distribute to pilgrims walking towards the holy city of Karbala [Getty]

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