Panic engulfed thousands of Shiites marching across a bridge in a religious procession Wednesday after rumors spread that a suicide bomber was about to attack, triggering a stampede that killed 648 people... 648 were killed and 322 injured, although figures from other official sources varied slightly.MORE BELOW
These people have been subjected to so much. Another terrible blow.
Scores jumped or were pushed to their deaths into the muddy Tigris River about 30 feet below, while others were crushed in the crowd. Most of the dead were women and children, Interior Ministry spokesman Lt. Col. Adnan Abdul-Rahman said.
It was the single biggest confirmed loss of life in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion.
Tensions already had been running high in the procession in Baghdad's heavily Shiite Kazimiyah district because of a mortar attack two hours earlier against the shrine where the marchers were heading. The shrine was about a mile from the bridge."