At least 31 dead in Iraq’s Karbala stampede

Karbala stampede kills 16 pilgrims

However, this is reportedly the deadliest such stampede in recent history.

The Associated Press reported part of a walkway collapsed during Ashura observations, prompting people to run to safety.

Iraqi Shiites take part in a mourning procession in the holy city of Karbala on September 10, 2019, to mark Ashura, which commemorates the 7th-century killing of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the prophet Muhammad.

Iraqi Shiite worshipers gather next to the site of a stampede accident inside Imam Hussain shrine, in the holy city of Karbala, southern Iraq.

The stampede happened near the gold-domed Imam Hussein shrine toward the end of the Ashoura procession in the holy city of Karbala - about 50 miles south of Baghdad, on Tuesday.

At least 10 among the injured pilgrims were in critical condition, according to the officials.


Saif al-Badr, a health ministry spokesman, said the toll of casualties was not final and expected more casualties.

"The pilgrims fell one on top of the other and we were unable to pull them out", pilgrim Abdel Mahdi told Reuters.

He was killed in the year 680 by the forces of the Caliph Yazid, a major event which helped solidify the divide between what would become Islam's Sunni and Shiite branches. Boys also cut incisions into their foreheads with blades, leaving streams of blood flowing down their faces.

Under ex-ruler Saddam Hussein's Sunni-dominated government, the vast majority of Ashura commemorations were banned.

The following year, at least 965 pilgrims were killed in a stampede on a bridge over the River Tigris in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, during a different Shia holy day.

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