Karbala governor bans pilgrimage till Muharram 13 due to pandemic
Karbala governor has announced extention of ban on pilgrimage to the holy city until Muharram 13th as part of safety efforts to curb the new coronavirus pandemic.
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Nafis al-Khatabi, governor of Karbala announced the decision to continue ban of pilgrimage to the holy city until the end of Muharram mourning days, a decision made based on fatwa by Ayatollah Seyyed Ali al-Sistani, top Shia jurisprudent, reported Taqrib News Agency (TNA).
Last week authorities in holy cities of Najaf and Karbala announced curfew during the days between two major occasions Eid al-Adha (feast of sacrifice) and Qadir Eid in line with safety measures to prevent expansion of the pandemic in two most visited cities in the country.
The number of coronavirus infections in Iraq has grown from 100 to nearly 3,000 cases on a daily basis following Fitr Eid.
In a recent fatwa by Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Muslims are recommended to perform the rituals for Muharram 2020 namely through live broadcasts, house ceremonies and raising black flags in squares and streets.
Muharram is particularly marked by Shia Muslims across the world commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS) and his companions in the Battle of Kabala against the then tyrant ruler, Yazid ibn-Muawiyah. This year the ceremonies, which fall on 29-30 August, will not be marked in public gatherings due to the coronavirus outbreak.