Karbala stampede

Karbala stampede
Karbala is located in Iraq
Karbala
Karbala
Karbala (Iraq)
Date10 September 2019 (2019-09-10)
LocationKarbala, Iraq
Coordinates32°36′59″N 44°02′01″E / 32°36′59″N 44°02′01″E / 32.61639; 44.03361
TypeStampede
Deaths31
Non-fatal injuries102[1]

The Karbala stampede occurred on the 10th of September 2019, 31 people were killed and approximately 100 more were injured in a human stampede during Ashura processions in Karbala, Iraq. There are conflicting accounts of what caused the stampede, one claimed that a walkway collapsed, leading the crowd to panic.[2] Another account stated that one person tripped and fell among the runners and others fell over him.

Background

Ashura is an important holiday in the Islamic calendar, marking the death of Husayn ibn Ali (Imam Hussein), a grandson of prophet Muhammad. He was killed in 680 AD in the Battle of Karbala which became a central event to Shia Islam. Since then, the first ten days of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, are a national holiday in Shia Islamic countries, with the tenth day culminating in Ashura.[3]

The Ashura day of mourning in Karbala was the target of a terrorist attack in 2004, when simultaneous bombings in Karbala and Najaf killed 134 people.[3] A 2005 stampede had occurred in Baghdad during a similar event, caused by word that the event might be subject to a terrorist bombing.[3] More recently, several attacks on Ashura processions have been perpetrated by Sunni extremists.[2]