On Tuesday, October 23, the Iranian government announced the arrest of several members of three militant groups suspected of planning attacks on Shi'a Muslims during the Arba'een pilgrimage to the southern Iraqi city of Karbala, set to take place October 29-31. No further information on the arrests has been released. A heightened security presence is expected nationwide during the pilgrimage, notably along the Iran-Iraq border.
Millions of pilgrims gather each year in Karbala to commemorate Arba'een, a Shi'a Muslim celebration. It occurs at the end of the 40-day mourning period observed after Ashura, and commemorates the death of the Prophet Mohammad's grandson, Imam Hussein.
Individuals in Iran are advised to closely monitor the situation, avoid all protests and large public gatherings as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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