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717 die in Haj stampede in Saudi Arabia

By The Assam Tribune
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MINA, Sept 24 - Two Indians, including a woman, were among at least 717 people killed and over 860 others injured in a stampede today when Haj pilgrims jostled their way to perform the symbolic stoning of the devil here, marking the culmination of the annual pilgrimage.

At least two Indian pilgrims were also among the injured in the tragedy, the second worst to occur in 25 years during the world�s holiest Muslim pilgrimage. A sudden surge in the number of pilgrims heading to Jamarat for the symbolic stoning of the devil by throwing pebbles at three stone walls resulted in the stampede at 9 am local time (1130 IST).

State-run Saudi Press Agency said the stampede occurred at the intersection of two streets leading to Jamarat, about 5 kilometres from Makkah.

The Saudi civil defence authority said that 717 pilgrims from different nationalities were killed and 863 others were injured. It was not immediately clear what caused the stampede, the second worst after 1990 when 1,426 pilgrims were killed in a stampede inside a tunnel leading to holy sites.

The Indian Consulate in Jeddah said that two Indians from Assam were injured and have been admitted to a hospital.

A man from Kerala, identified as Mohammed from Kodungaloor in Thrissur district, was among the pilgrims killed in the incident, Kerala�s Rural Development and Non-Resident Keralite Affairs Minister KC Joseph said in Thiruvananthapuram. The deceased had gone for the Haj through a privately-sponsored group, he said. A woman from the State was among those injured, he added.

Meanwhile, a woman pilgrim from Hyderabad, identified as Bi Bi Jaan, was killed in the stampede, SA Shukoor, special officer of Telangana State Haj Committee, said. � PTI

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717 die in Haj stampede in Saudi Arabia

MINA, Sept 24 - Two Indians, including a woman, were among at least 717 people killed and over 860 others injured in a stampede today when Haj pilgrims jostled their way to perform the symbolic stoning of the devil here, marking the culmination of the annual pilgrimage.

At least two Indian pilgrims were also among the injured in the tragedy, the second worst to occur in 25 years during the world�s holiest Muslim pilgrimage. A sudden surge in the number of pilgrims heading to Jamarat for the symbolic stoning of the devil by throwing pebbles at three stone walls resulted in the stampede at 9 am local time (1130 IST).

State-run Saudi Press Agency said the stampede occurred at the intersection of two streets leading to Jamarat, about 5 kilometres from Makkah.

The Saudi civil defence authority said that 717 pilgrims from different nationalities were killed and 863 others were injured. It was not immediately clear what caused the stampede, the second worst after 1990 when 1,426 pilgrims were killed in a stampede inside a tunnel leading to holy sites.

The Indian Consulate in Jeddah said that two Indians from Assam were injured and have been admitted to a hospital.

A man from Kerala, identified as Mohammed from Kodungaloor in Thrissur district, was among the pilgrims killed in the incident, Kerala�s Rural Development and Non-Resident Keralite Affairs Minister KC Joseph said in Thiruvananthapuram. The deceased had gone for the Haj through a privately-sponsored group, he said. A woman from the State was among those injured, he added.

Meanwhile, a woman pilgrim from Hyderabad, identified as Bi Bi Jaan, was killed in the stampede, SA Shukoor, special officer of Telangana State Haj Committee, said. � PTI

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