According to Rasa News Agency’s correspondent in Najaf, the office of Ayatollah Bashir al-Najafi, one of the revered Najaf-based sources of emulation, issued a statement in regard to the stampede which occurred in the holy city of Karbala on the Day of Ashura, saying “The world is aware of the incident which occurred on during the Rakdhah al-Tuwayrij [Tuwayrij run] rite on the day of the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn as a result of the crowding due to the presence of millions of lovers of Abu Abdillah al-Husayn.”
At least thirty-one pilgrims lost their lives and dozens more sustained injuries in a stampede during the Muslim religious rituals of Ashura in Karbala, the Iraqi Health Ministry said. This number will likely rise.
The message reads, “Hisham ibn Sālim asked Imam al-Sadiq about the reward of a person who dies while performing the pilgrimage of Imam al-Husayn and the Imam replied, ‘The angels escort him and bring him camphor and clothes from paradise and will accompany them in their funerals is prayed over him after they are shrouded, the angels will perform prayers on them and shroud them again over their existing shrouds. Then they will spread basil under their bodies in their graves and will push the walls of their graves three miles in every direction. Then a door from the doors of heaven will be opened to their graves and a soothing breeze and its fragrance will fill their graves until the rising of the Hour.’”
The office of Ayatollah al-Najafi conveyed His Eminence’s condolences over this tragedy to the Imam of the Time [Imam al-Mahdi] and to the believers.
Also, Hujjat al-Islam Sohbatollah Rahmani, the general manager of the Pilgrimage and Hajj Organization of the Holy Shrines, said, “Due to overcrowding among the mourners of Imam al-Husayni, at least 34 people were killed and 122 were injured and taken to medical centres.”
He added, “In order to further clarify the cause of the incident and the death toll, especially in the case of Iranians, a headquarters composed of the Iranian Consulate in Karbala, the Red Crescent, the Hajj Mission of the Supreme Leader in Iraq and the Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization has been established.”
Hujjat al-Islam Rahmani said, “Sources in Iraq’s Ministry of Health also confirmed that the incident was not due to a collapse or displacement at the site but it was due to a large crowd of mourners.”
Rasa News Agency