Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • ‘European GPS’ satellites launched into wrong orbit

    Read more

  • Merkel in Kiev as aid convoy ‘returns to Russia’

    Read more

  • France will not be 'be pushed around' by Germany

    Read more

  • Suicide bomber targets Iraq intelligence HQ in deadly attack

    Read more

  • Video: Israel bombs kidnapping suspect’s home

    Read more

  • US brands journalist’s beheading a ‘terrorist attack’

    Read more

  • Ebola prompts Philippines to recall UN troops in Liberia

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • US sued over ‘deportation mill’ in New Mexico

    Read more

  • Colombian army and FARC rebels in face-to-face talks

    Read more

  • US National Guard starts to pull out of embattled Ferguson

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • US job market yet to recover from recession, says Fed Chair

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Africa

Deadly mosque stampede in Timbuktu

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-02-26

At least 24 people were crushed to death and many more injured after a stampede broke out on Thursday at the main mosque in Mali's north-western city of Timbuktu.

AFP- A stampede at a famed mosque in Mali's northwestern desert city of Timbuktu crushed at least 24 people to death and left many more injured, police and hospital sources said Friday.
   
"People were circling the Djinguereber mosque, a ritual at each Mouloud (the observance of the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed) and there was a huge crowd built up," one of the witnesses, Mohamed Bandjougou, said of the accident late Thursday.
   
"I lost my sister. She was 16 and had gone to pray," said another resident, Ali Kounta.
   
Thousands of pilgrims come to Timbuktu for the prophet's birthday and an official said the accident appeared to have happened because of a bottleneck caused by renovation work on the 14th-century mosque made largely from mud.
   
"The mosque is being renovated, financed by the Aga Khan, and the work is carried out by South African specialists," an official at Timbuktu town hall told AFP, asking not to be named.
   
"Because of these renovations, the passage on the north side of the mosque is closed off. On that side, to get through, the faithful found an improvised alleyway.
   
"But the alley couldn't take the number of people using it. So there was a stampede. Somebody shouted 'someone has died' and panic took over," the official said.
   
Two other officials said rescue services had "very quickly" helped the "many injured".
   
"We're in mourning. What happened is a real drama. We accept the will of God. He gives us life, he takes it away," said the mosque's imam, who gave his name as Asseyuti.
   
Timbuktu was a renowned intellectual and religious centre during the 15th and 16th centuries, helping to spread Islam throughout Africa.
   
Today the area is desert, and while Timbuktu's name remains synonymous in Europe with the idea of an exotic faraway land, the town's historic buildings require constant renovation.
   
During the Mouloud celebration of the prophet's birthday in Mecca in 570, the faithful gather at night to pray, often in their thousands.
   
Religious gatherings of thousands of people heighten the chance of a deadly stampede.
   
In 2006, at least 364 people were killed in a stampede during the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.
   
A stampede at a Hindu temple in India's Rajasthan in 2008 killed 224 people, while two girls were killed and 40 injured at a stampede at a church-organised stadium event in Angola in 2009.
  

Date created : 2010-02-26

COMMENT(S)