Idle Bridge a Symbol of Baghdad's Sectarian Divide Despite security improvements in Baghdad, wounds are hard to heal, and fears of more sectarian bloodshed remain. Two years ago, as thousands of Shiite pilgrims crossed the bridge over the Tigris River, gunfire sparked panic and a stampede that killed more than 900 people. The bridge has been closed since then.
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Idle Bridge a Symbol of Baghdad's Sectarian Divide

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Idle Bridge a Symbol of Baghdad's Sectarian Divide

Idle Bridge a Symbol of Baghdad's Sectarian Divide

Idle Bridge a Symbol of Baghdad's Sectarian Divide

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Despite security improvements in Baghdad, wounds are hard to heal, and fears of more sectarian bloodshed remain.

In one part of Baghdad, a bridge spanning the Tigris River marks an especially fragile fault line. It links a Sunni area, a former stronghold for the insurgency, and a Shiite neighborhood. Both contain important religious shrines.

Two years ago, as thousands of Shiite pilgrims crossed the bridge, there was gunfire. Rumors spread that a man wearing a suicide belt was in their midst. In the subsequent panic and stampede, more than 900 people were killed. The bridge has been closed since then.