Tens of thousands of Iraqi Shiites turned out to commemorate a revered imam on Saturday, defying curfews imposed to stem the spread of the coronavirus, AFP reported.
On foot, they streamed to the golden-domed mausoleum of Imam al-Kadhim in Baghdad, where authorities kept an outer gate open to allow pilgrims into the surrounding courtyard.
The inner shrine remained closed despite some pilgrims pressing authorities to let them in, a shrine official told AFP.
"There are many fewer pilgrims than in previous years," the official said, asking not to be identified.
"For the first time, there are no foreign pilgrims -- everyone comes from Iraqi provinces."