Iran Blames US for Deadly Stampede

The Supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, blamed the US for the deadly stampede on Wednesday that killed up to 1,000 Shiites:

“It is certain that Iraq’s occupiers, who have imposed their evil presence in Iraq under the pretext of bringing security, are responsible for such devastating accidents and they must be held accountable,” Khamenei said.

At least 965 Iraqis either drowned or were crushed to death or suffocated when marchers surged on to a bridge over the Tigris River in panic after reports that a suicide bomber was among them. Another 465 were injured.

“I urge Iraqis to maintain their unity and disappoint the enemy, which aims to create disunity by such plots,” Khamenei said was quoted as saying by state television.

The term “enemy” is usually used by Iran’s clerical leaders to refer to the US.

An Al Quaeda group in Iraq claimed responsibility for the deaths on Thursday:

An Al-Qaeda-linked group calling itself the Jaiech Al-Taifa Al-Mansura (Army of the Victorious Community) claimed it carried out the attack on the mosque to “punish the genocides committed against Sunnis.”

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