Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Dozens Killed in Stampede at Ashura Procession in Iraq

Dozens Killed in Stampede at Ashura Procession in Iraq

Tuesday, 10 September, 2019 - 17:00
Iraqi Shiites burn a tent as they re-enact a scene from the 7th century battle of Karbala during a ceremony marking Ashura in Karbala, Iraq, September 10, 2019. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat

At least 31 people were killed on Tuesday when a walkaway collapsed, setting off a stampede in the Iraqi city of Karbala during Shiite commemorations of Ashura.

About 100 people were injured, said officials.

It was the deadliest stampede in recent history during Ashura commemorations.

The stampede happened toward the end of the procession, causing a panicked rush among worshippers near the gold-domed Imam Hussein shrine, according to two officials who spoke to The Associated Press from Karbala.

Health Ministry spokesman Saif al-Badr said the death toll could rise as 10 of the wounded were in critical condition.

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

This year's commemoration comes amid rising tensions in the Middle East and the crisis between Iran and the US and its ally Israel in the wake of the collapsing nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

Israel has recently expanded its war on Iran and its allies in the region, and is believed to have struck targets as far out as Iraq in recent weeks, drawing outrage and pledges of retaliation.

Editor Picks