Shiite pilgrims killed, 100 wounded in stampede in Iraq's Karbala

11 Septembre, 2019, 05:29 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • At least 31 worshipers killed in Iraq during stampede on Shia Muslim holy day

In the "Tuwairij run" thousands of pilgrims symbolically re-trace the steps of the maternal cousins of Imam Hussein's half-brother al-Abbas who ran from the ancient village of Tuwairij to Karbala to aid the imam in the 7 century battle.

A health ministry spokesman said another 100 people were injured and warned that the death toll could rise.

Tens of thousands of people converge on the holy city at the start of Muharram - a holy month for all Muslims - to mark one of the most sacred religious holy days for the Shia sect.

The annual pilgrimage marking the death of the Prophet Mohammed's grandson in battle draws hundreds of thousands of Shi'ite Muslims to Kerbala from around the world.

The stampede occurred during the Tuwayrij Run, which is part of the major Ashura ritual, as a large crowd of Shiite pilgrims were running while beating their chests and heads from the Tuwayrij area towards the Imam Hussein shrine to express their sadness and sorrow for the death of Imam Hussein. Hussein's killing has been attributed with cementing the schism between Shiite and Sunni Islam.

The incident happened toward the end of the Ashura procession, causing panic and a stampede.

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No Iraqi media released images of the walkway collapse or ensuing stampede.

The ministry said around 100 others were wounded in the stampede at the shrine, which is 100km south of Baghdad.

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

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

Earlier in the day, hundreds of thousands of black-clad pilgrims held Ashoura processions amid beefed-up security in Karbala and in the capital, Baghdad, marching through the streets.

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