Crowds of Muslim pilgrims are in the Iraqi holy city of Karbala to commemorate the day of Arba’een. The annual occasion is one of the world’s biggest religious gatherings. It marks the 40th day after the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. The pilgrims, most of them Iraqis, have walked to Karbala where Imam Hussein is buried. Security is beefed up in and around the city. Prior to the pandemic, the event drew millions each year. But now, the Iraqi government has restricted the number of foreign pilgrims to several ten thousands. Imam Hussein and dozens of his companions were martyred during the battle of Karbala with the tyrant of their time over 13 centuries ago. They were killed on the day of Ashura.
'Full of lies'
Iran has lashed out at Israel after its Prime Minister Naftali Bennett accused the Islamic Republic of crossing what he called red lines in its nuclear program. In a tweet, Iran’s Ambassador to the UN, Majid Takht-e-Ravanchi said Israel is in no position to discuss its "peaceful nuclear program" when it has hundreds of nuclear warheads. Takht-e-Ravanchi added, Bennett’s speech was full of lies. During his UN General Assembly speech, Bennett vowed that Israel would not allow Tehran to acquire a nuclear weapon. He also urged a more concrete international effort to halt Iran’s nuclear activities. His comments come as Tehran has time and again reiterated that its nuclear program is merely for peaceful purposes.
An explosion has hit a residential building in the Swedish city of Gothenburg, sending at least 20 people to hospital. Some reports have put the number at 25 including three women injured seriously. The explosion hit the building early on Tuesday. Gothenburg’s emergency services say their teams are still working to put out fires in the building. They say several apartments and stairwells have been affected. The emergency services say several hundred people have already been evacuated. The rest are being evacuated too. Swedish police say an investigation is underway to find the cause of the blast.