31 killed in Iraq during Ashoura procession
Published: 10:53 11 September 2019 Updated: 13:43 11 September 2019
Iraq’s state-run TV channel, citing Iraq’s Health Ministry, says the death toll from a stampede in the Shiite holy city of Karbala has climbed to 31.
Another 100 people were injured in the incident which security officials told The Associated Press happened when part of a walkway collapsed during Ashoura commemorations Tuesday.
The incident happened toward the end of the Ashoura procession, causing panic and a stampede. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to give official statements.
Tens of thousands of people converge on the holy city for the occasion, one of the most sacred religious holy days for the Shiite sect.
Ashoura commemorates the killing of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Imam Hussein, by a rival Muslim faction in Karbala in present-day Iraq, in 680 A.D.
Hussein and his descendants are seen by Shiites as the rightful heirs to the prophet. Hussein’s killing has been is attributed with cementing the schism between Shiite and Sunni Islam.
This year’s somber commemoration comes amid rising tensions in the Middle East and the crisis between Iran and the U.S. in the wake of the collapsing nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.
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