Iran: Former diplomat missing after stampede in Saudi Arabia

Early estimates record that at least four Turks, three Indonesians, three Kenyans and seven Pakistanis were killed.

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At least 747 Muslims from different countries lost their lives and 805 others sustained injuries during a stampede on the road leading to Jamarat (stone throwing site).

Thousands of Iranian worshippers have marched in Tehran after Friday prayers to denounce the “incompetency” of Saudi Arabia in handling the annual hajj pilgrimage.

In a televised speech aired Thursday at the Saudi Al-Ekhbariya T.V. channel, Saudi Health Minister Khaled al-Falih blamed “lack of discipline and ignoring the Hajj instructions and timetables among pilgrims ” for the Thursday’s stampede.

Medics rush to the site where pilgrims were crushed and trampled to…

The interior ministry has said it had assigned 100,000 police to secure the hajj and manage crowds.

The pilgrims suffocated or were trampled to death Thursday when two massive crowds converged on a narrow street, in the worst disaster to occur during the annual pilgrimage in a quarter-century. He escaped the crush of bodies because he was at the head of a procession. “These people deserve compensation”.

About 2 million pilgrims from more than 180 countries took part in this year’s hajj, which ends Saturday.

The family members of other deceased too expressed the same views.

Saudi Arabia deployed large numbers of special forces today as pilgrims performed the final rituals of a hajj marred by double tragedy, with the toll from a stampede rising to 769.

Hundreds of demonstrators protested in the Iranian capital, chanting “Death to the Saudi dynasty”.

The Iranian Cabinet also held an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss the tragedy that killed 719 pilgrims, including 131 Iranians.

Saudi Arabia has not responded to the Iranian accusations regarding the convoy.

Iran and Saudi Arabia are bitterly divided on a host of regional issues and support opposite sides in the wars raging in Syria and Yemen.

He urged the pilgrims to follow the timetable provided by Saudi authorities to prevent similar incident. Iranian state-run media and government officials repeated that allegation Friday. He said it is the responsibility of both the security forces and the pilgrims to ensure the hajj is safe. However he said Iran would not hesitate to engage in dialogue with Saudi Arabia “if we see a framework” for such discussions.

Jahangiri reiterated it’s “definite and clear” to Iran that “the Saudi government is responsible for this disaster… and has to provide answers”. He added that “mismanagement is definitely the cause” of the tragedy.

He said: “The Saudi government and authorities involved in hajj should appear before court and be held accountable”.

In a statement Iyad Madani, the secretary-general of the 57-nation OIC, hoped that “no party would seek to take advantage” of the pilgrimage to “divide rather than unite”. He previously served as the kingdom’s hajj minister.

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Gambrell reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Muslim pilgrims walk in a tunnel on their way to cast stones at Jamarrat pillars a ritual that symbolises the stoning of Satan during the annual pilgrimage known as the hajj in Mina near the holy city of Mecca Saudi Arabia Friday Sept. 25 2015