Thursday, October 1, 2015

Mecca 2015:Iran death toll rises to 464 in Hajj stampede!

An Iranian protester chants slogans while police officers prevent him from approaching to the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015,
Iran says number of its citizens who died in the Hajj stampeded in Saudi Arabia last week has reached 464 - nearly double the previous toll.
Iranian authorities said there was no longer hope of finding any of the country's missing pilgrims alive.
According to Saudi officials, 769 people died in the crush in Mina, near Mecca, and 934 were injured.
The Saudis have been criticised over their handling of security and for the slow publication of casualty figures
The crush occurred as two large groups of pilgrims converged at right angles on the way to taking part in one of the Hajj's major rites at the Jamarat pillars.
Iranian officials allege that the overall number of deaths is now more than 1,000. Pakistan, India, and Indonesia have also suggested death toll may be higher than the 769 reported by Saudi Arabia.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has called on Saudi Arabia to apologise for the deadly stampede and warned of "harsh" measures if the kingdom fails to promptly repatriate the bodies of Iran's dead.
Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has accused Iran of "playing politics" with the disaster and called on the Islamic Republic to await the outcome of an investigation ordered by Saudi Arabia's King Salman.
The disaster was the second to strike the region in two weeks, after a crane collapsed at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, killing 109 people.

Iran's IRNA news agency quoted Iranian Health Minister Hassan Hashemi as saying that he and his Saudi counterpart Khaled al-Falih had struck a deal aimed at "speeding up the process, as the victims' families are waiting" back at home.
"Iran would be the first country to receive bodies and repatriate them," Hashemi said.
Those unidentified bodies who are clearly Iranian would be repatriated first and identified at home, he added

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