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-- At least 635 people killed, 237 injured as a crowd of Shiite pilgrims stampede on a bridge near a mosque in Baghdad, police say.
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"Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari announced a three-day mourning period, and President Jalal Talabani said the stampede "will leave a scar in our souls and will be remembered with those who died in the result of terror acts."
Iraq stampede toll to hit 1,000-health official
The death toll in a stampede on a Baghdad bridge is expected to reach 1,000, a general manager at Iraq's Health Ministry said on Wednesday.
"An hour ago the death toll was 695 killed, but we expect it to hit 1,000," Dr Jaseb Latif Ali told Reuters.
Originally posted by Regenmacher
I don't think lemmings have suicide in mind when they stampeded in panic,
but the end result is the same...death.
Why would one yet five hundred people jump off a cliff, because they think someone is a suicide bomber???
Even if a bomb went off there would be a lot less then 500 fatalities.
Two top Iraqi Shi'ite officials accused Islamist militants and loyalists to former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein of deliberately causing a stampede over a Baghdad bridge in which at least 647 people died.
"We hold the terrorists, Saddamists and radical extremists, responsible for what happened," Ammar al Hakim, a leader in the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, said.
Abdul Hadi al Daraji, spokesman for fiery cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, said insurgents had spread rumours there was a suicide bomber in the crowd to cause panic.[...]"Most were women and children," the source said. "Most died by drowning or being trampled on."[...]The crowd of several thousand people was heading for the Kadhimiya mosque for a religious ceremony.
Earlier at least seven people died in three separate mortar attacks on the crowd.[...]The crowd was celebrating the martyrdom of Musa Al-Kadhim, a revered religious figure among Shi'ites.
As in the past when suicide bombings in Iraq have caused large casualties, the people on the scene spontaneously blamed the Americans. In the streets of Baghdad, many believe that the U.S. has a "hidden agenda" - to foment a civil war in the country and that the Israelis are their co-conspirators. Not surprisingly, soon after the attack, a loudspeaker outside the Kadhimiya mosque blared: "This is the work of Jews and American occupation forces."