Iran: Closes borders and halts flights to Iraq amid clashes

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The Iran has closed its borders with the Iraq and called on its citizens to avoid travel to the country, a senior official said today, amid an outbreak of violence after powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said he would retire from politics.

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At least 20 people were killed during heavy clashes in Baghdad yesterday, Monday, when, following Sadr’s announcement, his supporters stormed a government building and clashed with rival organizations.

As APE-MPE reports, millions of Iranians travel to Karbala every year for the religious festival of Arbain which marks the end of a 40-day period of mourning for the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, Imam Hussein. This year Arbain falls on September 16-17.

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The border with Iraq was closed. Due to security concerns, Iranians should avoid traveling to Iraq until further notice,” state television quoted Deputy Interior Minister Majid Mirahmadi as saying.

State television reported that Iran has suspended all flights to Iraq “until further notice due to the ongoing unrest.”

“We are trying to arrange an emergency flight to bring back Iranians from Iraq and Baghdad who are now at the airport. We hope to remove them today,” state television reported, citing a senior civil aviation official.

Source: News Beast

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