Thirty-five pilgrims were killed and
others injured in a stampede at Jamrat al-Aqaba on the first day of
stone throwing here today, it was reported.
In a statement to the Saudi Press
Agency (SPA), the Director General of Civil Defense said public
security men acted immediately to alleviate the congestion of crowds
avoiding injury to a far greater number of pilgrims.
'At 08:12 a.m. today, Monday, 5th
March, most of the pilgrims who arrived in Mina, coming from Muzdalifa
early today, headed in large numbers directly for Jamrat al-Aqaba. As
a result of the intense congestion, pilgrims were scrambling and
pushing one another at the point of stoning. Consequently, a number of
them, especially the elderly, fell to the ground resulting in the
death of 35 persons (including 23 women and 12 men) of different
nationalities', he stated.
Security men immediately intervened
and were able to end the congestion, control the situation and
forestall further injuries, thus ensuring the safety of hundreds of
thousands of pilgrims pouring in to continue the stone throwing
The senior official of Civil Defense
emphasized that it was important that pilgrims should adhere to
instructions and regulations set for performing all the rituals of
Hajj and stick to the integrated plans concerning the movement of
pilgrims. To protect the pilgrims and facilitate the performance of
rituals correctly, guides have already been provided.
The names and nationalities of the
dead will be announced later.