A Bridge in Baghdad

Tragedy can divide, and it can unite. In the first hours after the stampede that killed more than 1,000 Shi'ite pilgrims in Baghdad last Wednesday, many of the survivors reflexively blamed Sunni terrorists. Surely, they reasoned, it must have been a Sunni agent provocateur who had started the rumor—of a suicide bomber at large among the tens of thousands of Shi'ite pilgrims crossing the Bridge of Imams—that had sparked the stampede.

But as the day wore on, it became clear that the tragedy had more to do with inadequate policing and haphazard crowd control than with sectarian animosities....

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