Three Kenyans dead in Mecca stampede
Three Kenyans are among the 717 pilgrims who died during a stampede in Mecca Saudi Arabia on Thursday.
Another Kenyan is among the over 800 critically injured persons and is currently hospitalized following the stampede that occurred during the religious ceremony of “Stoning the Devil”.
A total of 4,950 Kenyans are attending this year’s Hajj in Mecca.
According to Principal Secretary for Foreign Affairs Karanja Kibicho, the Kenya Mission in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is trying to account for all Kenyans.
“The situation is being monitored closely and update will be provided through the media as it is received from Kenya Mission in Saudi Arabia,” read the statement.
On Thursday, President Uhuru Kenyatta sent a message of condolence to the Saudi Arabian Government and the Muslim community following the stampede in Mecca that claimed over 700 Hajj pilgrims, the worst disaster to strike the annual Hajj pilgrimage in 25 years.
President Kenyatta also wished quick recovery to another over 800 victims injured in the tragedy as they performed stone throwing ceremony, one of the holiest rites in Islam.
“We mourn with you and are filled with grief at this great loss,” said the President
“On my behalf and on behalf of the government and people of Kenya, am sending to you and through you the Muslim fraternity this message of hope and encouragement following the stampede tragedy.”
The stampede occurred on a street in Mina, a large valley where about two million Muslims are performing the annual Hajj pilgrimage.
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.
An estimated two million pilgrims congregated at Mecca for the annual celebration.
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