In scenes of grief repeated around the country Iraq has been burying its almost 1000 dead from yesterday’s tragedy in Baghdad. Even in a nation attuned to mass killing the scale of death seems incomprehensible to most. The victims were Shi’ites taking part in a religious procession. They died following a stampede on a bridge – either from falling into the river below or in the crush. It is still not clear whether the incident was sparked by rumours of a suicide bomber. But fears of sectarian attack by Sunnis fuelled the panic. The procession had earlier been hit by mortar bombs in a strike claimed by Sunni militants. A day after the disaster and the bridge was again crowded with people attending funerals. In a potent symbol of the enormity of the disaster the route was still lined with piles of victims’ shoes.