Pakistan: Up to 30,000 pilgrims stranded at Iran border as authorities tighten security

Thousands of Pakistani Shia Pilgrims were prevented from returning home at the Taftan border, between Iran and Pakistan, on Friday, after Pakistani authorities issued extra security measures. Some 30,000 pilgrims crossed into Iran to participate in the Arba'een Pilgrimage, meeting in Iraq's holy city of Karbala. One pilgrim stranded at the border said, «Five women have died and five children... Еще have also died,» adding «authorities are taking bribe of 3000 rupees (US $28.50) per person.» Neither of these claims have been substantiated. He also appealed to Pakistani leadership to resolve the situation. The Taftan border is the only official legal border crossing between the two countries. The Arba’een pilgrimage to Karbala in Iraq is one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, marking the 40th day after the martyrdom of Imam Hussein in the seventh-century. Hussein is said to be the third Shia Imam and the Prophet Mohammed's grandson.

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