Iraq-Iran border crossings shut amid deadly anti-government protests
Several border crossings between Iraq and Iran have been closed as deadly anti-government protests grip Baghdad and the south of the country.
An Iraqi official said on Thursday that the Khesro border crossing with Iran in the eastern province of Diyala will remain closed until further notice.
Theyl said that the Al-Shib border crossing between the two countries was also briefly closed overnight.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
Iranian border guards commander General Qasem Rezaei said the Khosravi and Chazabeh crossings had been closed since late Wednesday, Iran's semi-official Mehr news agency reported.
A senior Iranian official said other crossings would remain open ahead of the annual Shia pilgrimage of Arbaeen, which marks the end of a 40-day mourning period for the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad.
Read more: Death toll rises in Iraq as security forces open fire on protests despite curfew
Hundreds of thousands of worshippers are expected to visit the city of Karbala later this month.
There are nine border crossings between the two countries.
The death toll from mass rallies in Iraq against corruption and unemployment rose to 19 on Thursday, as the leaderless protest movement spread to virtually all of the south.
Braving live fire, tear gas and local curfews, Iraqis flooded the streets for a third day in the biggest challenge yet to Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi.