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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 September 2005, 18:41 GMT 19:41 UK
Baghdad stampede: Your accounts
Iraqis walk among shoes lost during a stampede on a bridge in Baghdad
Funerals are taking place for victims of a stampede in Baghdad during a religious festival which left at least 960 dead. Send us your experiences.

The stampede occurred during a Shia religious procession and was apparently triggered by rumours of an imminent suicide attack.

Community leaders are calling for calm amidst fears that Wednesday's tragedy could cause further violence in the country.

Did you witness the stampede? Are you in the area affected?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion received so far:

Iraq will not forget this day
Firozali A. Mulla, Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania
About 1000 dying in a day is a tragedy. This is a very sad day for the Shias as they morn the innocent and elderly who were going for prayers. Iraq will not forget this day.
Firozali A. Mulla, Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania

It is vital for the Iraqi people to regain their spiritual strength and hold on to each other amidst this sad tragedy. The unity of Iraq as a nation is essential for a better future as separation and division will only bring more chaos and loss.
Esra Karatash Alpay, Istanbul,Turkey

When I read about the news yesterday I couldn't believe it and then a grim sadness swept over me. It is as if all the tragedies so far have been nothing, and this is the culmination of two years of disorganisation, terror and fear. There is not much more I can say.
Sinan, Iraqi in New Zealand

May the souls of the hundreds of people that have lost their lives today rest in perfect peace. I pray that Shias and the Sunnis coexist peacefully in the near future.
Allan, Monrovia, Liberia

This is the time to insist for a united Iraq that will not be divided by any terror act.
Raid Amin, USA (previously, Iraq)

The forces of evil and terrorism may or may not have caused this horrible incident. This is not the time to ask for separation. This is the time to insist for a united Iraq that will not be divided by any terror act. I wish the best to all Iraqis.
Raid Amin, USA (previously, Iraq)

My heart goes out to the loved ones of both the man made disaster in Baghdad, which has its origin in the war, and the natural disaster in New Orleans, in which no man has any control.
Vijay, London, UK

A sad day for us Shias. May the souls of those killed rest in peace.
Sadikka, UAE

I deeply regret the disastrous loss of life of our brothers and sisters in Kadhimiya. This should be an encouragement for our unity in Iraq. As a Kurd, my sincere condolences go out to all those families who lost loved ones.
Saman Ahmed, Manchester/ UK

A desperate human tragedy to add to the already heavy burdens that Iraqi people have to deal with
Elizabeth, London UK
A desperate human tragedy to add to the already heavy burdens that Iraqi people have to deal with in their every day lives. Iain from Nottingham comments are particularly relevant. All thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families.
Elizabeth, London UK

Where and how do we account for these many innocent lives lost? One tragic event after another, leading to more. Courage and strength to any all those having to face such traumatic events.
Raj, London, UK

The people of Iraq have suffered enough, they didn't deserve this. I feel so helpless to do anything, almost guilty for being a "safe" West European. My heart goes out to all those families who have lost loved ones. They just don't deserve this.
Allie Lehtinen, Tampere, Finland

My heart goes to the Shia of Kadimiya where I lived for a few years in the sixties and made life long friends from there.
Sherzad, Kurd living in UK

It is another example that rumours are more effective than bombs in destroying peace.
Peter Leung, Hong Kong

These poor people are as much victims of terrorism as had there truly been suicide bombers in the crowds. This appalling incident shows quite graphically that rumours and innuendo are as potent weapons as guns bombs and aeroplanes. My heart goes out to those lost, and their surviving loved ones.
Graham, Cardiff UK

It was a sad incident, which was targeted towards innocent worshipers.
Sayed Zeeshan, Pakistan
Those who are behind such atrocities do not believe in sanctity of human lives. It was a sad incident, which was targeted towards innocent worshipers.
Sayed Zeeshan, Pakistan

In a phone call with my cousin in Kazemieh, I learned that many have also been taken ill after polluted water was sold to the pilgrims. The hospitals are overcrowded with the dead and wounded and thousands are suffering.
Qassim, Baghdad

This is very tragic news. The group responsible for this attack are cowardly. Most of the victims are women, children and elderly people.
Prashanth Gajra, Mumbai, India

From BBCArabic.com: I write to you from al-Aathamiya the stronghold of Sunni Arabs, and I say many Shia processions have passed through here without incident. However as the crowds grew thicker rumours circulated on the bridge that there is was a suicide bomber in the crowd. People started pushing each other frantically and the iron fence on the bridge collapsed as a result of the immense pressure and the disaster occurred. We do not permit any party to take advantage of this to claim that it was deliberate. The people of al-Aathamiya contributed to saving many of those who were drowning.
Thabet Naaman al-Athamy, Baghdad, Iraq

From BBCArabic.com: This is an act of cowardice undertaken by some Sunni extremists and the former regime's henchmen who lost power after liberation. Today I called my parents in Iraq and they described to me the stench of death all over the place. I say to Shia leaders that separation from Sunni areas is the only solution left for us.
Ameer al-Kathimiy, Iraqi living in Germany

From BBCArabic.com: I write to you now from the home of a friend in al-Athamiya next to Kathimiya where I can see the panic and terror wrought by the terrorists targeting innocent people who abide by their faith.
Mohammad Abd al-Razzak al-Rubeiei, Baghdad, Iraq

From BBCArabic.com: I am a resident of the holy city of Kathimiya. I was participating this morning in the funeral procession and as usual some rockets were launched to undermine the determination of the faithful. But the procession went on and the crowds grew bigger, despite the terrorism. It is not the first procession and it won't be the last.
Mihdi al-Husseini, Baghdad, Iraq

In Baghdad at the moment with the TA's on a training exercise. Been around the city today and the people seemed very upset by what has happened and are blaming the US army for this event. It's important that peace is kept at the moment between the people of Baghdad and the armed forces.
Brad Lancaster, Epping, Essex, UK

I have been deeply affected by this tragic happening. I think and believe that the government should introduce a temporary law that does not allow gatherings of more that ten people, since most people are affected gathering or in queues. Stern measures should be taken to protect the masses.
Chitiyo Jacob, Harare , Zimbabwe

My sympathy goes out to the families of all who have been killed or injured. I wonder, will there be any acts of remembrance held in the west to reflect this tragedy?
Iain, Nottingham


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