Shiite faithful pilgrims gather between, the holy shrine of Imam Abbas and the holy shrine of Imam Hussein, in the background, for Arbaeen in Karbala, 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
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Millions of black-clad Shiite Muslims, crying and beating their chests in mourning, streamed through a shrine in the Iraqi city of Karbala Monday under heavy protection from the security forces.ISIS is battling tens of thousands of Iraqi forces in and around its last major stronghold of Mosul, and observers had feared it might seek to strike Baghdad or Karbala during Arbaeen.The authorities in Karbala, which lies about 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Baghdad, said at least 24,000 soldiers and police were securing the area.Some pilgrims came from as far afield as Basra, Iraq's main southern port city some 500 kilometers away by road."We started walking 13 days ago and reached Karbala on Sunday night".The 40-year-old said his prayers would go to the Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary group which has tens of thousands of men deployed on the front lines to fight ISIS.
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