The Head of Data Unit of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria’s Medical Centre in Mecca, Dr. Jibrin Suleman has said 19 Nigerian pilgrims died of heart diseases, hypertension, diabetes and other related ailments during the just-concluded Hajj.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman urged the Saudi government to accept full responsibility for a last week’s crush of people in Mina that killed thousands of Hajj pilgrims, including hundreds of Iranians, saying Riyadh owes the Islamic countries an apology. Civil defense officials could not be immediately reached. Those fingerprints may prove critical as numerous disaster’s victims lost their ID bracelets in the crush, he said.
The two rivals in the oil-rich Gulf were already at odds over Iran’s support for Shiite Huthi rebels in Yemen, which lies on Saudi Arabia’s southern flank.
Khamenei’s remarks came hours after Iran summoned the Saudi envoy in Tehran for the fourth time since the stampede to demand the swift identification and repatriation of bodies. In the application, the petitioner requested the court to take action against the Haj director general for “concealing facts” about the death of Pakistani pilgrims in the Mina tragedy. In 2006, a stampede during the stoning-the-devil ceremony led to a death 380 people.
More than 2 million people from around the world arrived in Saudi Arabia for this week’s Hajj, a pilgrimage that all Muslims who are physically and financially capable of must make at a few point in their lives.
“The government of Saudi Arabia must explain why it blocked the way of the Hajj pilgrims”, Sarafraz said, adding that such a “huge” catastrophe is unprecedented in the history of the Al Saud dynasty.
Justice Ayesha A Malik passed the orders on an application filed by Arif Idrees, a citizen, in a pending petition. Meanwhile, its Religious Affairs Ministry said at least 44 Pakistani pilgrims died at Mina, while 35 were injured.
The Senate is to set up an ad-hoc committee which will investigate the incident and report back them. Able-bodied Muslims are required to perform the five-day pilgrimage once in their lifetime, and each year poses a massive logistical challenge for the kingdom.
Gambrell reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.