Aab Bareek (Afghanistan), 3 May-2014, AFP: Afghan officials said today that a maximum of about 500…
At least 717 people were killed and 800 others injured on Thursday in a stampede during the Hajj at Mina, near the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, one of the worst incidents in nearly a decade to hit the annual pilgrimage.
Over two million pilgrims, including more than 1.5 lakh Indians, are performing the Hajj this year. Officials at the Indian Consulate in Jeddah have said so far they have no information about any Indian casualty.
Rescue operations were underway after the stampede in Mina, where pilgrims were performing the symbolic stoning of the devil by throwing stones at the three pillars.
Eyewitnesses said the stampede happened at the entrance of the Jamarat bridge near Street 204, not inside of the area where the stoning pillars are. Two teams of medical screening have been set up at the site of the incident. It was not clear what had caused the stampede.
“In my camp there were about 400 pilgrims. All of them are safe. But I am trying to make some calls and ascertain from other people,” said Abid Rasool Khan, Chairman Minorities Panel, Andhra Pradesh.
With agency inputs