36 devotees martyred, 75 injured in Karbala stampede
KARBALA (92 News) – As many as 36 devotees were martyred and 75 injured in a stampede near the shrine of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) in Karbala on Tuesday.
Sayf al-Badr, the Iraqi Health Ministry spokesman, said in a statement that the incident had taken place in the afternoon during Ashura when thousands of devotees pushed into the entrance of shrine of Hazrat Imam Hussein (RA).
Eyewitnesses said that a majority of the martyred devotees belonged to Iraq. “An Irani is also among the martyrs.”
However, no Pakistani is on the list of martyrs or injured.
It is the deadliest stampede in recent history during Ashura when Shia pilgrims from around the world swarm Karbala to commemorate the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA), grandson of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH).
On Tuesday, packed processions of black-clad worshipers made their way to his gold-domed shrine in Karbala, carrying black flags with “Hussein” written in red and wailing loudly.
Some whipped their backs and chests to demonstrate their sorrow. Others — even young boys — cut incisions into their foreheads with scalpels or large sabres, leaving streams of blood cascading down their faces.
Similar ceremonies took place in the capital Baghdad and in the southern cities of Najaf and Basra. In 2005, at least 965 devotees heading to Baghdad during a different holiday died after rumours of a suicide bomber in the crowd sparked a mass stampede.