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Iran has closed its borders with Iraq and has urged its citizens to avoid traveling there, a senior Iranian official said Tuesday amid an outbreak of violence after influential Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said that he is leaving politics.
Violent clashes in Baghdad on Monday killed at least 20 people after Sadrap's statement prompted his supporters to storm the government palace and fight rival factions.
Millions of Iranians travel to the Iraqi city of Karbala every year to participate in the Arbaeen ritual, which marks the end of the 40-day mourning for the Prophet Muhammad's grandson, Imam Hussein. This year, Arbaeen falls on September 16-17.
” ;Border with Closed by Iraq. For security reasons, Iranians should refrain from traveling to Iraq until further notice,” — Iranian Deputy Interior Minister Majid Mirahmadi was quoted by state television as saying.
“We are trying to arrange an emergency flight to bring back Iranians from Iraq and Baghdad who are currently at the airport. We hope to evacuate them today”, — reported in the Iranian airline.
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