Some 20,000 security personnel will be deployed throughout Balochistan province - especially its restive capital Quetta (population 1 million) - to provide security for mourning processions scheduled to take place on the 7th and 10th days of the Islamic month of Muharram (September 18 and 21). Heavy contingents of police will be deployed on main roads leading to major ritual sites and along the routes of the mourning processions. Dozens of new checkpoints have been installed.
Muharram is a month of remembrance for Muslims, who mourn from the first night of Muharram and continue for ten nights, climaxing on the 10th of Muharram, the Day of Ashura. In Pakistan in 2018, the period begins with the Islamic New Year on September 12, with Ashura observed on September 21.
As a precautionary measure, individuals present in Pakistan are advised to stay away from public gatherings, marches, and processions due the risk of violence. Adhere to any instructions issued by local authorities.
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