Iran death toll at Mina hits 169

Tehran, Sept 28, IRNA – The death toll of the Iranian pilgrims reached 169, deputy head of Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization announced Monday.

Talking to IRNA, Hamid Mohammadi said the numbers of injured and missing Iranian pilgrims are 46 and 298 respectively.

The pilgrims were on way to jamarāt to perform Hajj rituals there. The Stoning of the Devil is part of the annual Islamic Hajj pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca.

Muslim pilgrims fling pebbles at three walls called jamarāt, in the city of Mina just east of Mecca.

It is one of a series of ritual acts that must be performed in the Hajj.
Many world experts, political and religious officials believe mismanagement was the real cause for the various incidents in this year’s Hajj pilgrimage, including the fall of a huge crane, a fire disaster in a hotel, a fire which spread in the camp of the Egyptian pilgrims in Mina desert, and above all, the Mina stampede.

Meanwhile, First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri held the Saudi government responsible for the Thursday stampede tragedy during hajj pilgrimage in Mecca. More than 2,000 pilgrims lost their lives with hundreds still missing.

‘The Mina incident was a very significant issue for us which unveiled Saudi Arabia’s mismanagement,’ he said.

Jahangiri expressed dismay at the two fatal incidents of crane crash and stampede during current hajj rituals and said, ‘The Government of Iran believes that the Saudi government shall be held accountable and will investigate the causes of the tragedy.’

On September 24, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei declared three days of national mourning following the deaths of several hundred Hajj pilgrims, including Iranians, in the holy city of Mecca.

‘The Saudi government is required to accept its heavy responsibility in this bitter incident and meet its obligations in compliance with the rule of righteousness and fairness. Mismanagement and inadequate measures that were behind this tragedy should not be undermined,” the Leader said.