Wednesday, August 31, 2005
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the NYT comes what would be the major story today were it not for Katrina: At Least 648 Shiite Pilgrims Killed in Panic on Tigris Bridge

At least 648 Shiite pilgrims were killed today as panic spread through a religious procession over a Tigris River bridge after people started shouting that a suicide bomber was about to blow himself up, officials said.

Further, according to an NPR account, 150 of the deaths were caused by poison. Likely the poison was the result of a terrorist attack linked to the fact that during this pilgrimage, it is traditional for sweets and drinks to be given those making their way to
the shrine.

Via the Sofia News Agency comes some news of he poisoning, but cites 50, not 150 (it may be that I misheard the NPR report):

Poison has been found in at least fifty bodies, hurried into a Baghdad hospital after stampede on a bridge in the capital killed at least 635 Iraqi Shi’ites, CNN reported, citing sources from the Baghdad hospital.

The type of the poison was not immediately clear.

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