Unfortunately, stories about Iraqi deaths haven't exactly been surprisising lately. However, I wanted to bring this story to your attention, it is quite shocking. Not just because of the devastating number of lives lost.
Can the poor people of iraq please get a break, they seem to have had all the bad luck in the world trown at them in the last 30 years.
648 dead in Baghdad stampede
322 injured as railing collapses amid fear of suicide bomber
Wednesday, August 31, 2005; Posted: 6:59 a.m. EDT (10:59 GMT)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- At least 648 people have been killed and 322 others injured in a stampede on a bridge near a Shiite mosque in northern Baghdad, police sources said.
Most of those killed were women and children, sources said.
According to witnesses, the stampede started after someone screamed that a suicide bomber was in the crowd of pilgrims gathered for a religious commemoration Wednesday.
A railing on the bridge then collapsed under the crush of people, and hundreds fell to their deaths in the Tigris River about 30 meters (yards) below, CNN's Jennifer Eccleston reported.
According to police, some people were crushed to death but most drowned.
Police expect the death toll to rise as they continue to pull bodies from the river. The dead and wounded inundated five hospitals in the Kadhimiya area.
The stampede took place at about 11:30 a.m. (3:30 a.m. EDT) near the Kadhimiya mosque, where pilgrims were gathered to commemorate the death of Imam Moussa al-Khadhem, a prominent figure in Shiite history who is buried at the Kadhimiya mosque.
Hours earlier, a mortar attack in the area killed seven people and wounded 36 others, police said.
According to authorities, three mortars landed around 8:15 a.m. (12:15 a.m. EDT) in the Kadhimiya neighborhood.
Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari has declared three days of mourning, state television reported.
Television reports said about 1 million pilgrims from Baghdad and outlying provinces had gathered for the annual commemoration, The Associated Press reported.