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Iraqi Shiite Muslims flagellate themselves with swords during the religious festival of Ashura in Baghdad, Iraq, 10 September 2019. The Ashura day commemorates the death anniversary of the third Shiite Imam Hussein, who was grandson of Muslim Prophet Muhammed. Ashura is the peak of ten days of mourning when Shiite Muslims mourn the killing of Imam Hussein whose shrine is in Karbala in southern Iraq. (EPA/MURTAJA LATEEF)

BAGHDAD: At least 16 pilgrims died on Tuesday in a stampede at a major shrine in the Iraqi city of Karbala as they were marking the holy day of Ashura, the health ministry said.

Another 75 people were injured at the shrine around 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of Baghdad, said spokesman Saif al-Badr, stressing that the toll was not final.

Hundreds of thousands of Shiite pilgrims swarm Karbala every year to commemorate the death of Hussein, Prophet Mohammad’s grandson. - AFP

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