At least 16 Shiite pilgrims have been killed with about 75 others wounded in a stampede at a major shrine in the Iraqi city of Karbala as they were marking the holy day of Ashura.
Worshippers draped in black clothes had made their way to the gold-domed shrine in Karbala, carrying black flags with the name of Hussein, Prophet Mohammad’s grandson written in red and wailing loudly.
The stampede began when part of a walkway collapsed during the procession, causing mass panic.
Spokesman of Iraqi Health Ministry Saif al-Badr released the casualty toll, stressing that it is expected to rise.
Thousands of Shia pilgrims swarm Karbala in Iraq every year to commemorate Ashura – the death of Hussein – with rallies and prayers.