[QODLink]
Middle East
Pilgrims killed in Iraq bus crash
At least 15 people, mostly Iranians, died after two buses collided near Najaf, an important holy site for Shia Muslims.
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2010 14:13 GMT

Every day, thousands of pilgrims from Iran and other countries visit Najaf, along with other major Shia shrines [EPA]

Two buses carrying pilgrims, most of them Iranian, have collided on a highway in Iraq, killing at least 15 people and injuring dozens, police said.

The crash occurred on the main highway connecting Hilla to Najaf on Friday. 

One of the buses was travelling from the city of Najaf, a holy site for Shia Muslims, towards Samarra, to visit the golden domed shrine at the al-Askari mosque. The other bus was en route to Najaf, from the city of Hilla.

"A traffic accident occurred on the Hilla-Najaf highway as a result of one of the buses skidding and hitting the other," Fadhil al-Sultani, the police chief of Babil province, said.

Sultani said 11 of those killed and 22 of 45 wounded were Iranian pilgrims.

Religious tourism to Iraq from neighbouring Iran has increased since the fall of Saddam Hussein's Sunni-led government.

Every day, thousands of pilgrims from Iran and other countries with large Shia Muslim populations, visit Najaf and Iraq's other major Shia shrines in Samarra, Karbala and Baghdad.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.