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Hajj stampede death toll rises to 717; no Lankans injured

24 September 2015 02:15 pm - 7     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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At least 717 pilgrims were killed on Thursday in a stampede outside the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi authorities said, the worst disaster to strike the annual hajj pilgrimage in 25 years.

According to Reuters, at least 805 others were injured in the crush at Mina, a few kilometers east of Mecca, caused by two large groups of pilgrims arriving together at a crossroads on their way to performing the "stoning the devil" ritual at Jamarat, Saudi civil defense said.

Thursday's disaster was the worst to befall the pilgrimage since July 1990, when 1,426 pilgrims were crushed to death in a tunnel near Mecca. Both stampedes occurred on Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice), Islam's most important feast and the day of the stoning ritual.

Photographs published on the Twitter feed of the Saudi civil defense on Thursday showed pilgrims lying on stretchers while emergency workers in high-visibility jackets lifted them into an ambulance.

The haj, the world's largest annual gathering of people, has been the scene of numerous deadly stampedes, fires and riots in the past, but their frequency was greatly reduced in recent years as the government spent billions of dollars upgrading and expanding haj infrastructure and crowd control technology.

Safety during haj is a politically sensitive issue for the kingdom's ruling Al Saud dynasty, which presents itself internationally as the guardian of orthodox Islam and custodian of its holiest places in Mecca and Medina.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said no Sri Lankan had been affected in the Mecca stampede according to the reports received so far by the Sri Lankan mission in Saudi Arabia.

“Our mission is keeping in touch with the local authorities there, to find if any Sri Lankan had been affected. However, so far the reports say no one had been affected,” a ministry official said.
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  Comments - 7

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  • Neel Friday, 25 September 2015 04:18 AM

    Snake killspoisin killsgun killsdrugs killscancel killscrowd killsstupidity kills but there is no such that not god kills.

    Muslim Friday, 25 September 2015 07:15 AM

    Your sadist comments depicts your low ethics, pleasure and make pun on others sufferingFYI every Muslims desire is to die in Mecca when in pilgrimage to do Hajj

    DHA Thursday, 24 September 2015 08:25 PM

    OMG.....Really sad news....May the departed souls RIP

    Bippity Boppity Boo Thursday, 24 September 2015 08:39 PM

    It seem Allah is still too busy elsewhere, Sri Lanka at Galle Face Green?

    Perumal Thursday, 24 September 2015 09:00 PM

    The departed were the blessed ones. May they unite with Allah!

    ........ Sunday, 04 October 2015 05:09 PM

    Ppl, for ur kind information each and every muslim wishes to die in mecca. May allah give us also a death in mecca.

    ANTON Friday, 25 September 2015 10:40 AM

    NEXT TIME WE WILL INVITE ALL MUSLIMS TO THE GALLE FACE GREEN.


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