Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) – Up to 31 people died Tuesday in a stampede near a Shiite shrine in the Iraqi city of Karbala as they celebrated the holy day of Ashura, the Health Ministry said.
“The death toll from the Karbala stampede rose to 31, while 100 were injured,” the ministry said in a press statement.
“Of all the injured, 10 cases are in critical condition,” the statement added.
The stampede took place near a religious shrine, around 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of Baghdad, as Shiite pilgrims from around the world head for Karbala each year to commemorate the death of Hussein, Prophet Mohammed’s grandson.
The day of Ashura It falls on the 10th of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic lunar calendar.
It is marked by Muslims with a voluntary day of fasting which commemorates the day Noah left the Ark, and the day that Moses was saved from Pharaoh by God.