The Arbaeen mourning ceremony is one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, Tasnim News Agency reported.
Each year, pilgrims, mainly from Iraq and Iran, travel long routes on foot to Karbala, where the holy shrine is located.
Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development Rostam Qassemi said that around 59,000 Iranian pilgrims have traveled to Iraq to take part in the annual procession.
The number had crossed into the Arab country by land and air until 06:00 a.m. local time on Sunday, Qassemi said.
Iraq recently doubled the quota of the Iranians, who could travel to the country for the ceremony, from 30,000 to 60,000.
So far, as many as 2,500 buses have been readied to enable the pilgrims’ return via land, Qassemi said, adding that the ministry was trying to increase the number of the available vehicles, Press TV reported.
According to Qassemi, 5,000 other Iranians had also reached Iraq by the time to attend other Muslim rituals.
He said the ministry was trying to deploy some representatives at airports in Najaf and Baghdad, who could facilitate and oversee the pilgrims’ return to the Islamic Republic.