Baghdad newspapers ceased publication on Wednesday after the Iraqi authorities had imposed a curfew over the Iraqi capital in preparation for pilgrims to the Shiite shrine of Imam al-Kadhim, independent Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency reported.
The pilgrimage is to take place Thursday.
Ali al-Sharqi, editor-in-chief of the independent al-Dustour, said his daily would cease publication until Sunday morning, indicating that its administration only knew about the curfew Tuesday night.
Adnan Raddam, the editor-in-chief of al-Istiqama newspaper published by the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC), previously known as the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) said his editorial board and staff did not know about the decision until after it was made.
Iraqi newspapers usually cease publication on Fridays, official holidays and during curfew periods.
Authorities in Baghdad have implemented extreme security measures ahead of the memorial of the anniversary of the death of the revered Shiite Imam Mussa al-Kadhim - one of the 12 most holy Shiite figures - to be held in the mosque where his shrine lies.
A vehicle and motorcycle curfew will be imposed throughout the capital in preparation for the arrival of massive crowds of pilgrims at the shrine on Thursday, VOI said.
The curfew has been effective in al-Kadhimiya town in northern Baghdad at 10.00 pm local time on Tuesday until 5.00 am on Saturday and children, mobile phones, weapons would be barred from proceedings.
Visitors have already started flowing into al-Kadhimiya from southern and central Iraqi provinces on foot without incident, said Khalaf.
In 2005, more than 1,000 people were killed and 300 injured in a stampede on the Jisr al-Aiema (Bridge of Imams) that leads to the shrine.
Last Mod: 08 Ağustos 2007, 13:56