İrem UZUN -TDO- The stampede occurred at a major shrine where Shia pilgrims were marking the holy day of Ashura in Iraqi city of Karbala. Officials from the Ministry of Health said that another 100 people are injured.
Health Ministry spokesman reported that thousands of Shia Muslims were marking the mourning rituals of Ashura at the Iman Hussein shrine when the accident took place. He added that the death toll could rise further, as some of the wounded were in critical condition.
The day of Ashura, is the tenth day of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar. It marks the day that Hussain ibn-Ali, the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, was martyred in the Battle of Karbala in 680AD.People in Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and Lebanon mark the day with various activities including rallies, prayers and self-flagellation.
Stampedes have occurred in the past as well. For instance, in 2005, at least 965 pilgrims were killed in a stampede in Baghdad, witnesses said that panic spread among the pilgrims over rumors of suicide bombers.