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Iran expresses condolences over Iraq stampede deaths

Tehran, Iran expressed condolences to the Iraqi nation over the deaths of dozens of people in a stampede at the Ashura religious ceremony in the city of Karbala.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi expressed regret and extended the country's condolences to the Iraqi authorities and nation following the deaths of dozens of people in Karbala on Tuesday.

A walkway collapsed and set off a mass stampede in the Iraqi city of Karbala as thousands of Shia Muslims marked one of the most solemn holy days of the year.

At least 31 people were killed and about 100 were injured, officials said on Tuesday. At least 10 among the wounded pilgrims were in a critical condition.

No Iranian pilgrims have been killed or injured in the disaster so far, according to Mohammad Taghi Heli Saz, Head of Hajj and Pilgrimage Medical Center of Iran Red Crescent Society.

It was the deadliest stampede in recent history during Ashura commemorations, when hundreds of thousands of people converge on the city, about 80km south of Baghdad, for the occasion every year.

The deadly rush began when part of a walkway collapsed during a procession, causing mass panic among worshippers.

Shia pilgrims converge on Karbala annually to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hossein (AS), Prophet Mohammad's grandson.

He was martyred in the year 680 in where would become Karbala by the forces of the Caliph Yazid.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA

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