2nd LD: Up to 31 Shiite pilgrims killed, 100 wounded in stampede in Iraq's Karbala

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BAGHDAD, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- At least 31 Shiite pilgrims on Tuesday were killed and some 100 others wounded in a stampede in the holy Shiite city of Karbala in south of Baghdad, spokesman of Iraqi Health Ministry said.

The incident took place in the afternoon during the major Shiite ritual of Ashura when thousands of Shiite pilgrims pushed into the entrance of Imam Hussein shrine in Karbala, some 110 km south of Baghdad.

"The death toll rose to 31 people and some 100 others were wounded in the stampede in Karbala and 10 of the wounded are in critical conditions," Sayf al-Badr, the ministry's spokesman, said in a statement, citing latest reports.

The Shiite community used to commemorate Ashura, which marks the death of Imam Hussein, grandson of Prophet Mohammed, who was killed and buried in 680 A.D. in Karbala.

Hundreds of thousands of Shiite pilgrims converged from other Iraqi provinces and from outside Iraq to commemorate the climax of the Shiite religious rite of Ashura, which means "ten" in Arabic, as the killing of Imam Hussein took place on the 10th day of Muharam, the first month in the Islamic lunar calendar. Enditem

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