31 dead, 75 injured during Ashura procession

Shiite Muslims gather around the shrine of Imam Hussein on the holy day of Ashura, in Karbala, south of Baghdad, Iraq, on Sept. 20, 2018. Ashura is the annual Shiite commemoration of the death of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, at the Battle of Karbala in present-day Iraq in the 7th century. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

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SULAIMANI – At least 31 people died and another 100 were wounded on Tuesday during the Shia Muslim religious rituals of Ashura in the Iraqi city of Kerbala, a Health Ministry spokesman said, offering no details as to how they died.

The deaths occurred at the gate of Imam Ali Hussein during the Twirij procession.

The Twirij procession is a part of the celebrations that take place during the Shia observance of Ashura  and named after near Twirij district five kilometers away from Karbala city.

Ashura is the 10th day of the lunar month of Muharram when according to Islamic tradition the Prophet Mohammed’s grandson Imam Hussein was killed in battle in 680, according to Reuters.

The rituals typically draw large crowds who gather at the shrine of Imam Hussein to commemorate his slaying. The rituals involve self-flagellation and stampedes have occurred in the past.

(NRT Digital Media/Reuters)