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Flight brings 87 bodies of Mina victims back to Tehran

13 October 2015 5:57


A flight carrying the bodies of 87 Iranian Hajj pilgrims who fell victim to a deadly crush in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, has landed in Tehran.

Saeed Ohadi, the head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization, said the bodies, which arrived in the Iranian capital early on Tuesday, are the last among 399 bodies of victims who have been repatriated so far.

The bodies were scheduled to be transferred to Tehran on Friday, but the slow process of identifying them was the reason for the delay, Ohadi added.

He also noted that 65 Iranian pilgrims are still missing following the deadly stampede in Mina.

The crush took place on September 24 after two large masses of pilgrims converged at a crossroads in Mina during the symbolic ceremony of the stoning of Satan in Jamarat.

Saudi Arabia claims nearly 770 people were killed in the incident, but officials at Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization say about 4,700 people lost their lives in the tragedy.

Late on Sunday, the head of Iran’s Hajj mission censured the Saudi mismanagement of the pilgrimage, which resulted in the massive loss of pilgrims’ lives.

“The Saudi government cannot handle the Hajj with this imprudence, negligence, and traditional methods; therefore it should reconsider the management of the Hajj using the Islamic countries’ capacity,” said Hojjatoleslam Seyyed Ali Qazi-Askar, the representative of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei for Hajj and pilgrimage affairs.

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