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Iran Sets Up Special Headquarters to Pursue Fate of Iranian Pilgrims in Mina Incident

24 September 2015 23:44



The Iranian foreign ministry announced on Thursday setting up a special headquarters to pursue the fate of the country’s nationals killed or wounded in a stampede during one of the last rituals of the Hajj season.

“The Iranian embassy, consulate, Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization and all the relevant bodies in Mecca” are pursing the situation of those harmed in the incident, Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian told FNA on Thursday.

He blamed the Saudi officials for the incident, and said they should rapidly take effective measures to handle the crisis and provide safety and security for the pilgrims.

A stampede during one of the last rituals of the Hajj season killed more than 1,300 people and left 2,000 wounded.

The stampede occurred during the ritual known as “stoning the devil” in the tent city of Mina, about two miles from Mecca.

Some 131 Iranians have also lost their lives in the incident, while 150 others have been wounded in the incident.

Hundreds have been killed in past years during the same ceremony.

The ceremony was the scene of stampedes and hundreds of deaths in the 1980s and 1990s as pilgrims passed a crowded bottleneck area leading to the small pillars on the ground.

In 2006, a stampede there killed at least 363 people.

This is the third incident in this year’s hajj rituals.

In the first incident, a crane crash over the Grand Mosque of Mecca killed over 100 and injured hundreds more two weeks ago.

Ten days before the start of Hajj this year, a construction crane crashed through the roof of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, killing 107 people. At least 238 others suffered injuries when a powerful storm toppled the crane.

A week later, a fire incident at a Mecca hotel claimed the lives of several other pilgrims.

It was also a tragic day for Muslims in Yemen on Thursday, where at least 29 people attending Eid al-Adha prayers died when a bomb went off inside a crowded mosque in Sana’a by terrorists supported by Saudi Arabia and its western allies.

(Figures in this report were updated several times.)

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