At least 31 people were killed and more than 100 injured in a stampede during Ashura commemorations in the Iraqi city of Karbala on Tuesday.

The incident reportedly occurred when a worshipper stumbled and fell over during the so-called 'Tuwairij run', which triggered the stampede.

Secretary-General of the Imam Husayn Shrine, Afdal Alshami, refuted reports that the stampede was caused by the collapse of a walkway, saying that "there was a jostling incident, resulting from the overcrowdedness and the speedy movement of the crowd."

He explained, "During the incident, one of the participants fell, leading to a chain of people falling consecutively. For this reason, we blocked the entrance through that door until the evacuation of injured people was completed. Some received medical treatment, but unfortunately some lost their lives."

Ashura, which takes place on the tenth day of Muharram in the Islamic Hijri calendar, is a day of mourning which commemorates the killing of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, as well as his family and companions at the Battle of Karbala on 10 Muharram, 61 AH (10 October 680 AD).

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