31 Killed Over 100 Wounded During Ashura Rituals

Ashura

According to CNN, 31 people are dead and over 100 wounded in a stampede in the Iraqi city of Karbala, as Shia Muslim worshipers commemorated Ashura on Sept. 10, 2019.

Thousands of people jammed the streets for the festivals marking the most important Shia holy day of the year.

Officials are investigating the events that led to the stampede, according to security officials.

Ambulances rushed to the scene and evacuated the wounded.

Ashura is the anniversary of the death of Imam Hussein, who was the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed.

Karbala is 62 miles south of Bagdad. It was also the site of a major battle in 680 AD which led to the death of Imam Hussein. He is revered in Shia Islam.

A spokesman from the health ministry warned that the death toll could rise. Reportedly, the stampede occurred when a pilgrim tripped in the middle of hundreds of thousands of people who were performing a ritual.

Every year, millions of Shia Muslim pilgrims travel to Karbala for Ashura. Ashura falls on the 10th of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic lunar calendar. People perform mourning rituals and passion plays re-enacting Hussein’s martyrdom.

By Jeanette Smith

Sources:

CNN: Ashura stampede leaves at least 31 dead
BBC: Iraq stampede kills 31 at Ashura commemoration in Karbala
The New York Times: Stampede at Iraqi Shrine Kills at Least 31

Image Courtesy of Ninara’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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