Many pilgrims travel kilometers on foot to reach the holy city of Karbala. (File photo)
Millions of Muslims are heading to the holy Iraqi city of Karbala to commemorate the religious ceremony of Arbaeen, which marks the 40th day after the martyrdom of the third Shia Imam.
Iraqi authorities have heightened security measures as millions of Shia pilgrims from all over the world are gradually arriving in the holy city, 80 kilometers south of Baghdad.
Scores of people have been killed in recent weeks across Iraq in attacks targeting Shia pilgrims as they embark on the traditional walk to Karbala for Arbaeen commemorations.
On Monday, at least 23 people were killed and 83 injured in a series of shootings and bombings in the north, center, and south of the country. Much of the violence targeted Shia pilgrims.
Last year, the Iraqi defense and interior ministries deployed 35,000 security forces to secure roads for the pilgrims.