Iraq reopened on Tuesday a main bridge linking Sunni and Shi’ite districts in northern Baghdad.
During a ceremony attended by several senior Iraqi officials and hundreds of people, the al-A’imma, or Imams bridge, was reopened after being blocked for more than three years following a deadly stampede.
Iraqi security forces removed barriers that block both sides of the bridge, while checkpoints and dozens of security members spread to secure the ceremony site. On August 31, 2005, up to 1,000 people died by stampede on the bridge, which links the Sunni district of Adhamiyah with the Shi’ite district of Kadhimiyah.
The incident occurred during a festival attended by tens of thousands of Shiite pilgrims marking the death of revered Imam Musa al-Kadhim 12 centuries ago.
Rumours of a suicide bomber among the crowd sparked the tragedy, the deadliest to hit Iraq in the aftermath of the U.S.-led invasion of 2003. — Xinhua