6 Afghans missing after Thursday stamped in Mina
KABUL (Pajhwok): At least six Afghan nationals have been missing after a horrible crash at Mina, outside the Muslim holy city of Makkah, where around two million people are performing the holy ritual. The Ministry of Haj and Religious Affairs said on Friday.
The Saudi government had earlier announced that 717 pilgrims had been killed and 863 wounded in the incident.
The Saudi civil defence directorate Tweeted saying that 863 people were injured in the incident. Saudi Arabia's health minister blamed undisciplined pilgrims for the deadly stampede Thursday during the Haj, saying the tragedy would not have occurred if they “had followed instructions”.
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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