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Iran police seizes 100,000 fake Iraq visas

AFP , Monday 16 Oct 2017
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Iranian police have seized 100,000 fake visas for Iraq and made six arrests ahead of the huge annual Shia pilgrimage of Arbaeen in November, newspapers reported Monday.

"Police forces have dismantled a band of six persons and seized 100,000 fake visas for Arbaeen" which this year falls on November 9, Tehran's police chief Hossein Rahimi said.

The head of Iran's organising committee for the pilgrimage to Karbala, south of Baghdad, Hossein Zolfaghari, said 500,000 official visas have so far been issued, state television's website reported.

Iran's participation in Arbaeen has spiked massively in recent years, with some two to three million Iranians among the 17 to 20 million participants last year.

Iranian police officials have repeatedly warned that pilgrims without a visa will not be allowed to enter Iraq this year, advising them to avoid fake visas.

Arbaeen marks the 40th day after the martyrdom of the Shia Imam Hossein in the seventh century.

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