BAGHDAD: Dozens of pilgrims were killed on Tuesday after a stampede during Ashura commemorations in Iraq’s holy city of Karbala.
Security officials told The Associated Press that the stampede happened when part of a walkway collapsed during the ceremony at the shrine of Imam Hussein.
At least 31 people died and at least 100 others were injured in the crush “towards the end of the Ashura ritual, causing panic and a stampede,” health ministry spokesman Saif Al Badr said, adding that the toll was expected to rise. Ten of those hurt in the incident suffered severe injuries, Mr Al Badr said.
But a Karbala security official said that overcrowding was at fault for the stampede, rather than the building collapse. “People were pushing each other which resulted in the stampede and the death and injury of many pilgrims,” he said.