2nd Batch of Iranian Victims of Mina Tragedy Returns Home
The second batch of the Iranian Hajj pilgrims who died in a September 24 crush of people in Saudi Arabia’s Mina, near Mecca, were repatriated on Sunday morning.
A plane carrying the bodies of 114 Iranian pilgrims arrived in Tehran on Sunday morning from Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah.
On Saturday, the coffins of another 104 victims, draped in the Iranian flags, were transferred to Iran. President Hassan Rouhani and a number of senior officials had attended a ceremony to pay tribute as the bodies returned home.
A total of 464 Iranians have lost their lives in the deadliest Hajj disaster in Mina, near Mecca, when performing religious rites.
The return of the bodies from Saudi Arabia came a few days after Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei sent a clear message to the Saudi government.
Addressing a military ceremony on Wednesday, Imam Khamenei warned Riyadh that the slightest disrespect for the Iranian pilgrims or its failure to repatriate the bodies of victims will draw Iran’s “severe and tough reaction”.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has had respect for fraternity in the Islamic world up to now, showing self-restraint and Islamic politeness, Imam Khamenei noted.
Saudi ruler have come under heavy fire for their incompetence in handling the annual Hajj pilgrimage. This year’s tragic incident in Mina claimed nearly 4,700 lives, ten percent of whom were from Iran.