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jspchief
08-31-2005, 10:50 AM
Baghdad Stampede on Bridge Kills 640 Shiite Pilgrims

Aug. 31 (Bloomberg) -- At least 640 Shiite Muslim pilgrims were killed in a stampede on a bridge spanning the Tigris River in Baghdad today after a nearby mosque was attacked by insurgents, Iraqi National Assembly adviser George Sada said.
``When people heard that the mosque had been attacked, they panicked and rushed toward the bridge to get out of the area,'' Sada said in a telephone interview from the capital. ``There were so many people on the bridge that many fell over its sides and drowned in the Tigris, others were crushed.'' He said the force of the crowds broke the bridge's barriers. Other accounts said people in the crowd reacted to rumors of a suicide bomber among them.
After the accident, thousands of people rushed to the banks of the river to look for survivors, the Associated Press reported. Sada said in a later conversation that he didn't know how many people had been wounded and added that he thought the death toll would climb significantly. Sky News reported that as many as 1,000 people may have been killed, citing the Health Ministry.
The stampede was triggered by an attack on the Khadimiya mosque, about a mile from the bridge where the pilgrims where headed, according to Sada. Interior Minister Bayan Jabor said at a televised press conference at about 6 p.m. Baghdad time that seven people were killed in the mosque attack as rebels fired Katyusha rockets and mortars at the building. Thirty-three people were wounded in the assault, Interior Ministry spokesman Adnan Abdel Rahman said earlier in a telephone interview.
The tragedy unfolded just four days after Kurds and Shiite Muslims, who hold power in the government, endorsed a new constitution over objections raised by Sunni Muslim political and religious leaders. Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari has declared a three-day period of mourning, Sada said.
Rumor of Attacker
The Washington Post reported on its Web site that the stampede was caused by rumors that a suicide bomber was lurking in the throng of pilgrims. Some people jumped to their deaths, landing in the river or on the shore, the newspaper said.
``A certain scream caused chaos in the crowds, and the crowds reacted,'' Defense Minister Saadun al-Dulaimi said during the televised press briefing.
``Who fired the mortars? Who spread panic among pilgrims on the bridge?'' AFP cited Health Minister Abdul Mutalib Mohammad Ali as saying. Ali called for the resignation of the interior and defense ministers who he blamed for the accident, AFP reported.
Americans Intervene
American helicopters fired on the militants who attacked the mosque and detained more than a dozen suspects, the military said in an e-mailed statement. Several mortar ``impacts'' were reported near the mosque and in surrounding areas, the military said.
Sada said that about 1 million Shiites gathered in the northern Kazimiyah district today to mark the death of Mousa al- Khadim, the seventh Imam since the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Al-Dulaimi estimated the crowd to be as large as 3 million. Video aired by al-Jazeera television showed ambulances struggling to drive through narrow streets packed with pilgrims.
The bridge had been closed for security reasons to cut off the flow of rebels from a violence-prone area into a stable section of the city, Iraqi authorities said in their press conference.
``This is a most shocking and terrible tragedy, initiated by terrorism, and its scale almost defies imagination,'' British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said in an e-mailed statement. The U.K ``urges all Iraqis to remain committed to the political process and its aim of establishing democracy and stability in their country,'' he said.
Civil War
Al-Jaafari's administration has said that supporters of Saddam Hussein, who lost their status when the Sunni-dominated regime fell, together with al-Qaeda-linked operatives, are trying to ignite a civil war.
The last major attack on a Shiite mosque was on Feb. 18 when 17 people were killed in suicide bombing in the southern Baghdad district of Dura as the Shiite community started a two-day mourning period culminating in the festival known as Ashura, according to AFP.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000103&sid=akbsjvbzdUPk&refer=us

jspchief
08-31-2005, 10:51 AM
How the hell are we supposed to help bring these people peace when they appear to be content with killing each other?

At some point, you'd think the average citizen would get tired of being at risk and start turning these insurgents in.

MOhillbilly
08-31-2005, 10:53 AM
is it mostly the sunnis doing the killing?
It seems like thats all you ever hear.

Bowser
08-31-2005, 11:00 AM
How the hell are we supposed to help bring these people peace when they appear to be content with killing each other?

At some point, you'd think the average citizen would get tired of being at risk and start turning these insurgents in.

They've lived like this for how many thousands of years?

They don't want peace. Never have.

jAZ
08-31-2005, 11:02 AM
It was just reported on MSNBC that the stampede was caused by rumor/fear of a suicide bomber on the bridge. Causing 1000's of people to scurry away from the presumed bomber... and being trapped on the bridge, many, many were killed.

jspchief
08-31-2005, 11:04 AM
It was just reported on MSNBC that the stampede was caused by rumor/fear of a suicide bomber on the bridge. Causing 1000's of people to scurry away from the presumed bomber... and being trapped on the bridge, many, many were killed.The report I heard on CNN is that they confirmed aprehending several suicide bombers.

vailpass
08-31-2005, 11:20 AM
These people are so different at so many basic ideogical levels. How the hell do we co-exist?

StcChief
08-31-2005, 11:23 AM
This like in America yelling 'Fire' in a movie theater, on a bigger scale.

Duck Dog
08-31-2005, 12:38 PM
How the hell are we supposed to help bring these people peace when they appear to be content with killing each other?

At some point, you'd think the average citizen would get tired of being at risk and start turning these insurgents in.


You can't help or change inherently lazy and stupid people.

Brock
08-31-2005, 12:42 PM
These people are so different at so many basic ideogical levels. How the hell do we co-exist?

Hopefully, we will discover our new energy source and we can leave that place the way we found it: A turd world, uncivilized hellhole.

go bowe
08-31-2005, 01:19 PM
Hopefully, we will discover our new energy source and we can leave that place the way we found it: A turd world, uncivilized hellhole. only if the israeli government can somehow make peace with the palestinians and the rest of the arab world...

of course, they will continue to have terrorists attacking infidel regimes throughout the area after we leave...