Iraq forces discover booby-trapped dolls ahead of Arba’een

A security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Arabic-language al-Forat news agency on Thursday that the government forces discovered 18 toys laden with explosives on the road, just ahead of the Shia Muslim rituals of Arba’een, one of which is taking the road to the shrine of Imam Hussein (PBUH) on foot.

Arba’een, which in Arabic means forty, falls on December 3 this year and marks 40 days after the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

The development came a few days after police stormed a Daesh hideout in Yusufiyah township, south of the capital, confiscating three explosive-laden vests, 30 rocket-propelled grenades and an unspecified number of hand grenades.

Iraqi forces have tightened security to protect pilgrims against terrorist attacks ahead of the mourning rituals.

Last year, Iraqi officials announced that the number of pilgrims attending mourning rituals of Arba’een reached 17.5 million in Karbala, located southwest of Baghdad. The number of Arba’een pilgrims reportedly hit 20 million in 2013.

The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by gruesome violence ever since Daesh terrorists began their campaign of terror in the country in June 2014.

The terrorists have been committing vicious crimes against all ethnic and religious communities in Iraq, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians and others.

Army soldiers and Popular Mobilization units have joined forces and are seeking to take back militant-held regions in joint operations.