A roadside bomb killed three Shi'a Muslim pilgrims on Tuesday, October 30, as they walked to a holy site near the northeastern city of Khanaqin. No group has yet claimed responsibility for this attack, although Islamic State (IS) militants have targeted pilgrims in the area in the past.
The threat of terrorism and violence against Shi'a Muslims is particularly high during the Arba'een religious holiday, which takes place October 29-30 this year, especially from Sunni extremist groups including IS.
Arba'een falls 40 days after Ashura, ending a period of mourning commemorating the martyrdom of Hussain, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammed. It is marked by a large pilgrimage of over 20 million Shi'a Muslims to Karbala (Iraq), as well as smaller processions and celebrations across the Shi'a Muslim world.
Individuals are advised to exercise caution during Arba'een celebrations in Shi'a communities. Individuals throughout the region should be particularly respectful regarding local customs and beliefs during this sensitive period in Shi'a Islam.
Due to the prevailing terrorist threat in the region, individuals should remain vigilant and report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities. Always be on guard when visiting sites deemed particularly likely to be targeted in an attack (public transportation, train stations, ports, airports, public or government buildings, embassies or consulates, international organizations, schools and universities
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