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Iran Closes Border Crossing Citing Unrest in Iraq

Iran Closes Border Crossing Citing Unrest in Iraq

Thursday, 3 October, 2019 - 14:45
Demonstrators gather as they take part in a protest over unemployment, corruption and poor public services, in Baghdad, Iraq October 2, 2019. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani

A border crossing between Iraq and Iran has been closed at the demand of Iraqi authorities who are facing a wave of deadly protests, Iranian state television reported Thursday.

The border post at Khosravi, around 570 kilometers east of Tehran, was shut during the night and was still closed as of Thursday afternoon.

It comes as Iranians head to the Iraqi holy city of Karbala for an annual Shiite pilgrimage that will culminate on Oct. 17 with the annual Arbaeen commemoration.

According to Iran's Fars news agency, pilgrims could cross the border unhindered at two other posts further south.

The official IRNA news agency, however, reported that one of them was also closed for several hours on the Iraqi side during the night before reopening.

Around 1.8 million Iranians made the Arbaeen pilgrimage last year, according to official figures.

The death toll from three days of mass protests in Iraq against corruption and unemployment rose to 19 on Thursday, as demonstrations spread to virtually all of the south.

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