|08-31-2005, 10:12 AM||#1|
Join Date: Mar 2005
841 dead in Baghdad stampede
323 hurt as bridge railing collapses amid panic near mosque
Wednesday, August 31, 2005 Posted: 1502 GMT (2302 HKT)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- At least 841 people were killed and 323 others injured in a stampede on a Baghdad bridge after a massive Shiite religious commemoration erupted into panic Wednesday.
Most of those killed were women and children, police sources said. Authorities expect the death toll to reach 1,000, Health Ministry official Jased Latif Ali said.
Witnesses said the stampede started after someone screamed that a suicide bomber was in the crowd of pilgrims heading to the Kadhimiya mosque in northern Baghdad.
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. (See video of the bridge still jammed with people after the panic.)
According to police, some people were crushed to death but most drowned. Emergency crews rushed the wounded to five hospitals as relatives at the riverbank searched for their kin.
The stampede occurred at about 11:30 a.m. (3:30 a.m. EDT) near the mosque, where pilgrims were gathered to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Moussa al-Khadhem, a prominent figure in Shiite history.
He is buried at the Kadhimiya mosque, the largest Shiite mosque in the capital.
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."
The death toll could rise as the crews search the Tigris for more bodies.
Health Minister Abdul Muttalib Ali confirmed that "the chaos that happened at the Al-A'imma bridge" began because of a "rumor" of a bombing.
"This led to a very horrible chaos," he said, causing people "to run in an uncontrolled way and this led to suffocation of so many people and drowning of some of them in the river."
The incident took place three hours after a mortar attack near the same mosque killed seven people and wounded 36 others, police said.
The U.S. military said helicopter crews saw insurgents "firing rockets and mortars that landed near a mosque," causing "several impacts" on the mosque.
The helicopter crews took aim at the insurgents, and coalition ground units raced to the area and searched for those responsible for the attack.
"At the suspected point of origin, coalition forces discovered evidence of a tube used for launching rockets," the military said, adding that more than a dozen people were detained for questioning.
The attack didn't stop pilgrims from continuing their rituals, marked in part by self-flagellation and chest-thumping in their walk to the shrine in the hours before the stampede.
The prime minister's office said a committee has been formed to investigate the stampede and mortar attack.
Air strikes kill 7 militants
On Tuesday, the U.S. Marines told CNN that air strikes flattened insurgent safe houses used by militants linked to al Qaeda in western Iraq.
The air attacks near the Syrian border killed at least seven militants, the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force said.
A top operative called Abu Islam was among the dead, the force said.
Police in Baghdad reported that 56 civilians were killed in the strikes.
They said police contacts in the region told them 40 civilians died in one house and 16 in another. Two children survived, they added.
A U.S. military spokesman said he had no specifics yet on the strike.
Lt. Col. Steve Boylan of the Coalition Press Information Center said: "We target only military targets and take precautions on any type of civilian casualties on all of our operations."
CNN could not independently verify the report of civilian deaths.
The three air strikes were ordered on Husayba and Karabila, near Qaim, after tips were received, officials told CNN.
Four 500-pound bombs were dropped on a house outside Husayba in the first raid at 6:20 a.m. (10:20 p.m. Monday ET), a statement said.
Two more bombs were later dropped on a house the Marines said was occupied by Abu Islam.
In the third attack, two bombs were aimed at a house in Karabila where militants sought refuge after the first strike, the statement said.
The attacks were the latest combat in continued hostilities reported in the border region.
On Friday, Marine planes pounded a suspected safe house in Husayba where about 50 insurgents were said to be staying, the day after three U.S. soldiers died in a roadside bombing in the town.
U.S. pilot killed
A U.S. pilot was killed and a second was wounded when a U.S. helicopter was hit by small-arms fire in northern Iraq, a military spokesman said.
The attack on the UH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopter came while it was flying over Tal Afar.
The aircraft went down, but the wounded pilot was able to get the helicopter airborne again and left the immediate area.
The number of U.S. troops killed in the Iraq war stands at 1,878.
Violence continues in Iraq as politicians try to move forward with the constitutional process.
In separate incidents Monday, gunmen assassinated the brother of the former governor of Baghdad and an official assigned to the Iraqi Elections Commission. (Full story)
The killings came a day after Iraq's constitutional committee approved a final draft of the Iraqi constitution and put it before the National Assembly, despite the rejection of Sunni Arab leaders. (Full story)
It will go to the Iraqi people, who will vote by October 15.
|08-31-2005, 11:40 AM||#2|
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Elway was just an arm =MacGruder
Dumb Bastards ........ Let me guess we should send aid ............
|08-31-2005, 11:56 AM||#3|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Jan 2004
Another 1,000 or so dead courtesy the "insurgents" (aka murderous terrorists).
Granted, the US is hardly wearing the white hat, but when are the terrorists going to be recognized for what they are - murderers and thugs, not "freedom fighters", or "martyrs for Islam" or whatever other bullshyte they're called?
Those effwads are killing their fellow Muslims - when is there going to be a fatwa against them? When are moderate Muslims going to say "Enough!" and turn on those murderers?
|08-31-2005, 12:38 PM||#4|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: South Carolina
BTW, did you catch the article in last weeks Economist re: the comparisons between the modern jihadists and the anarchist movement of the late 19th/early 20th century? It laid out a pretty good case that terrorism (or, at least, jihadist terroism) will probably fizzle out gradually as it becomes increasingly apparent that terrorist acts almost never bring about the desired change.
Last edited by BroncoInferno; 08-31-2005 at 12:45 PM..
|08-31-2005, 12:54 PM||#5|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Jan 2004
Violence won't fade, certainly, but the current form of it eventually will. As to the use of WMDs by jihadists, if it occurs, will carry a very heavy cost, but on the other hand, anarchists more-or-less started WWI, which lead to WWII, so we shall see.
|09-01-2005, 09:05 AM||#6|
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Ice World of Rura Penthe
Ahhh come on now! I'm tired of IRAQ...Seriously, who's next?!?
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