717 dead, 863 injured in Mecca stampede during Hajj
A stampede during the Hajj outside of the holy Muslim city of Mecca Thursday morning has claimed about 717 lives and left more than 863 pilgrims injured, Saudi Arabia’s Civil Defense Service reported.
Russia Today network reports the crush happened in Mecca’s neighborhood of Mina, which traditionally provides temporary accommodation for hundreds of thousands of pilgrims.
The ritual of ‘Stoning of the Devil’ is performed in a valley surrounding the neighborhood on the night before last day of Hajj.
Muslims across the world on Thursday are celebrating the holy day of Eid al-Adha.
An estimated two million pilgrims congregated at Mecca for the annual celebration.
Russia Today adds: “Just two weeks ago over a hundred people were killed in Mecca when a construction crane fell on the crowded the Grand Mosque.”
It is reported the worshipers had gathered in the city ahead of 2015’s Hajj.
The crush happened at Mecca’s neighborhood of Mina, al-Ekhbariya television reported, citing civil defense officials.
The Directorate of Civil Defense said it has deployed 220 ambulances and 4,000 rescue workers in the field for emergency treatment of the victims of the crush.
More updates to follow.
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