BAGHDAD: At least 31 mourners died on Tuesday after a building collapsed during Ashoura commemorations in the Iraqi holy city of Karbala.
At least 31 people died and at least 96 others were injured “towards the end of the Ashoura ritual, causing panic and a stampede,” health ministry spokesman Saif Al Badr said, adding that the toll was not final.
Tens of thousands of people converge on the holy city on the 10th day of the lunar month of Muharram.
It is the deadliest stampede in recent history during Ashura when Shia pilgrims from around the world swarm Karbala to commemorate the martyrdom of Hussein — Prophet Muhammed’s (PBUH) grandson.
In 2005, at least 965 pilgrims heading to the Imam Kadhim shrine in Baghdad during a different holiday died after rumours of a suicide bomber in the crowd sparked a mass stampede.