Iran bans travel to Iraq's Samarra due to security concerns
Ohadi said ISIL agents after heavy losses in Mosul, committed a heinous crime in Samarra on Sunday morning launching two suicide bombings, of which the first explosion occurred in pilgrims’ bus parking lot in Samarra and the second at the sites pilgrims were traveling to the shrine.
He added that suicide bombers driving ambulances packed with explosives killed 9 people, including 7 Iranian pilgrims, and 2 bus drivers in two Iraqi cities of Tikrit and Samarra.
132 pilgrims were injured in the blasts, he said, that 97 of them were Iranians.
“Immediately Iranian Red Crescent and Hajj pilgrimage and embassy staff rushed to the scene and in coordination with the Iraqi officials, four helicopters transferred pilgrims to the hospitals in Baghdad and Kazemein,” Ohadi noted.
Pointing to the security situation in Samarra on the eve of the Fortieth and the restrictions on travel to the city, Head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization said 9 caravans dispatched to Samarra on behalf of Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization were at the shrine at the time of the blasts; with regard to coordination with the security forces they were kept at the shrine and were transferred to Baghdad in the afternoon, on Sunday.
Finally, he announced, in coordination with staff and representative of the Islamic Republic in Baghdad, pilgrims are completely banned to travel to Samarra.
Accordingly, Head of Iran’s Emergency Medical Service announced on Monday that 88 injured Iranians are already transferred to 10 hospitals in Iran.