Saudi Arabia hajj disaster death toll at least 2,110

Published: Monday 19th October 2015 by The News Editor

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A new toll shows the crush and stampede that struck the hajj last month in Saudi Arabia killed at least 2,110 pilgrims.

The count by the Associated Press comes after Saudi officials said they held a meeting about the disaster late on Sunday night.

The official Saudi Press Agency reported that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdul Aziz, who is also the kingdom’s interior minister, oversaw the meeting.

Saudi Arabia’s official tally from the September 24 tragedy in Mina, a few miles from the holy city of Mecca, is 769 killed and 934 injured. Officials have not updated their casualty toll since September 26, although an investigation into the causes of the tragedy is ongoing.

The previous highest ever death toll from an incident at hajj was a 1990 stampede that killed 1,426 people.

“The crown prince was reassured on the progress of the investigations,” the SPA report said. “He directed the committee’s members to continue their efforts to find the causes of the accident, praying to Allah Almighty to accept the martyrs and wishing the injured a speedy recovery.”

King Salman ordered the investigation into the tragedy. The disaster came after a crane collapse in Mecca earlier that month, which killed 111 worshippers. The twin disasters marred the first hajj to be overseen by the king since he ascended to the throne at the start of this year.

The AP figure comes from state media reports and officials’ comments from 30 of the over 180 countries that sent citizens to the five-day annual pilgrimage, which is required of all able-bodied Muslims.

Iran leads all the affected countries, saying it had 465 pilgrims killed. Many of the dead also came from Africa. Nigeria said it lost 199 people, while Mali lost 198, Cameroon lost 76, Niger lost 72, Senegal lost 61, and Ivory Coast and Benin both lost 52.

Others include Egypt with 182, Bangladesh with 137, Indonesia with 126, India with 116, Pakistan with 102, Ethiopia with 47, Chad with 43, Morocco with 33, Sudan with 30, Algeria with 25, Burkina Faso with 22, Tanzania with 20, Somalia with 10, Kenya with eight, Ghana and Turkey with seven, Burma and Libya with six, China with four, Afghanistan with two and Jordan and Malaysia with one.

Published: Monday 19th October 2015 by The News Editor

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