717 killed, 863 wounded in Hajj Stampede
KABUL (Pajhwok): At least 310 pilgrims were killed on Thursday in a crush at Mina, outside the Muslim holy city of Makkah, where some two million people are performing Haj, the Saudi officials said.
According to media reports rescue operations are under way and an emergency has been declared in all nearby hospitals. At least 4,000 emergency personnel and 220 ambulances are taking part in the rescue operations, the service said.
Teams on the ground are leading pilgrims away from the stampede, to safety, by means of alternate routes, the civil defence service said.
The stampede occurred at Mina's street number 204. Mina is a large valley about five kilometres from the holy city of Makkah. The valley houses more than 160,000 tents where pilgrims spend the night during the pilgrimage. Mina is where pilgrims carry out a symbolic stoning of the devil by throwing pebbles against three stone walls.
The Haj pilgrimage this year was undeterred by a crane collapse in Makkah earlier this month that killed 109 people and injured nearly 400 at Islam's holiest site.
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