The Facts Machine

"And I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide"

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

SHIA STAMPEDE IN BAGHDAD, HUNDREDS DEAD

Breaking news:
Up to 500 people died when a crowd of Iraqi Shi'ites stampeded off a bridge over the Tigris river in Baghdad on Wednesday, fleeing rumors of a suicide bombing threat, Iraq's deputy health minister said.

"So far we have 500 dead," Jalil Al-Shumari, the deputy minister, told Reuters.

The crowd, on its way to the Kadhimiya mosque for an important religious ceremony, panicked as rumors spread that a suicide bomber was preparing to blow himself up...

One hospital said it had received at least 100 bodies by 12:30 (0830 GMT). The hospital source said bodies were being sent to two other nearby hospitals as well.

A crowd of several thousand had been marching through the old Kadhimiya district of northern Baghdad to a major Shi'ite religious ceremony.

The streets leading to the mosque are narrow, making it almost impossible for rescue workers to reach the dead and injured in the packed throng, and raising the possibility that the death toll could rise further, witnesses said.

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