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Pilgrims killed in accident at Hajj
Mina, 5th March 2001
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 ritual.

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.

Source: SPA

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06 March 2001 03:14:13 PM

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