310 people dead as a result of crush in Mecca (UPDATE-3)
details added (first version posted at 13:27)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 24
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
The Azerbaijani embassy in Saudi Arabia is clarifying whether the Azerbaijani citizens are among the dead and injured in Mecca's crush, Hikmet Hajiyev, the spokesman for the Azerbaijan foreign ministry, told Trend Sept. 24.
Some 310 people died and 450 were injured as a result of crush in Mecca, the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Saudi Arabia said earlier.
The ethnicity of those dead and injured has not been disclosed.
The crush occurred during the hajj outside holy city in Saudi Arabia, when the pilgrims were performing the symbolic stoning of the devil by throwing stones at three pillars. This year over two million pilgrims are performing the Hajj.
Meanwhile, the Caucasian Muslims Office is trying to contact with Azerbaijani pilgrims in Mecca, Mugaddas Payizov, the head of the international relations department of the Caucasian Muslims Office told Trend Sept. 24.
Payizov said that there are some 2600 pilgrims from Azerbaijan in Saudi Arabia for this year's Hajj.
Pilgrims this year have been undeterred by the collapse of a construction crane in Mecca earlier this month, which killed over 100 people and injured over 200.
The crush incidents during hajj have happened before. Some 1,427 pilgrims died in a pedestrian tunnel leading from Mecca to Mina tent city in 1990, 270 more died in another crush in 1994. More deaths followed in 1997 (343 dead, 1500 injured), 1998 (118 dead), 2001 (35 dead), 2004 (251 dead) and 2006 (345 dead).
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