‘Saudi Arabia is first and last culprit of Mina incident’
International Affair political commentator Hasan Lasjerdi in an exclusive interview with Taqrib News Agency (TNA) beckoned to recent deadly stampede during the Hajj pilgrimage rituals in Mina, outside the holy city of Mecca noting, “When such grand and deadlly incident occurs, various human related, geographical, logistics, and infrastructural factors are involved.”
On September 24, a fatal crush took place in Mina as two large crowds of pilgrims were on their way to participate in the symbolic stoning of Satan, a Hajj ritual. Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry has put the death toll from the incident at nearly 770.
As to the deadly stampede, Lasjerdi held the country and its officials as the main culprits stressing, “Saudi rulers cannot dodge their responsibility in this catastrophe and all attentions are situated on their role behind the deadly event.”
“All geographical, managerial factors are linked to Saudi Arabia, but all we have observed over the past three days was the country trying to accuse others and evade its responsibilities with this connection,” underscored the political expert noting Saudi officials should be answerable to Muslim nations’ public opinion and avoid playing a blame game over such incidents.
“One of Saudi authorities accused African victims and the other one accused Iranians claiming the foresaid pilgrims walk in the opposite direction of the rest,” said International Affair analyst stressing, “in spite of vacuous pretexts and claims proposed by Saudi officials, it is proven beyond the shadow of doubt that new Saudi forces did not have adequate competence and experience in mounting Hajj pilgrimage and its religious rituals.”
Lasjerdi placed stress on the necessity of adopting measures for preventing the reoccurrence of incidents such as the Mina tragedy and underscored, “Saudi Arbia should promote its competence managing such events with tact.”
“If Saudi Arabia is not responsible for this bitter incident, then who should be held accountable,” pointed out the political commentator concluding saudi rulers are the first and last culprits of what occurred in Mina.
The Mina tragic event came after a massive construction crane collapsed into Mecca’s Grand Mosque on September 11, killing nearly 110 people and injuring about 400 more. Eleven Iranian pilgrims were among the deceased while 32 others were also injured.
Separately, on September 21, a fire at a 15-story hotel in Mecca forced the evacuation of some 1,500 people. A fire also broke out at another hotel in the city days earlier, which left a number of foreigners injured.