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Saudi Arabia hajj disaster death toll at least 2,110

AP  |  Dubai 

The crush and stampede that struck the hajj last month in Saudi Arabia killed at least 2,110 pilgrims, a new tally showed today, after officials in the kingdom met to discuss the tragedy.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdul Aziz, who is also the kingdom's interior minister, oversaw the meeting late yesterday, according to the official Saudi Press Agency. It did not mention any official response to the rising death toll. The country's own toll since September 26 has stood at 769 people killed and 934 injured.

"The crown prince was reassured on the progress of the investigations," the SPA report said. "He directed the committee's members to continue their efforts to find the causes of the accident, praying to Allah Almighty to accept the martyrs and wishing the injured a speedy recovery."

King Salman ordered the investigation into the September 24 tragedy in Mina, just outside the holy city of Mecca. The disaster was the deadliest in the history of the annual pilgrimage, and came after a crane collapse in Mecca earlier that month killed 111 worshippers. The twin disasters marred the first hajj to be overseen by the king since he ascended to the throne at the start of this year.

The AP figure comes from state media reports and officials' comments from 30 of the over 180 countries that sent citizens to the five-day annual pilgrimage, which is required of all able-bodied Muslims.

Iran leads all the affected countries, saying it had 465 pilgrims killed. Many of the dead also came from Africa. Nigeria said it lost 199 people, while Mali lost 198, Cameroon lost 76, Niger lost 72, Senegal lost 61, and Ivory Coast and Benin both lost 52.

Others include Egypt with 182, Bangladesh with 137, Indonesia with 126, India with 116, Pakistan with 102, Ethiopia with 47, Chad with 43, Morocco with 33, Sudan with 30, Algeria with 25, Burkina Faso with 22, Tanzania with 20, Somalia with 10, Kenya with eight, Ghana and Turkey with seven, Myanmar and Libya with six, China with four, Afghanistan with two and Jordan and Malaysia with one.

The previous deadliest-ever incident at hajj was a 1990 stampede that killed 1,426 people.

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First Published: Mon, October 19 2015. 20:57 IST
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