Missing Iranian Hajj pilgrims might have been buried in Saudi Arabia

Tehran, Oct 20, IRNA – Head of the Hajj and Pilgrimage Medical Center at the Islamic Republic of Iran Red Crescent Society Ali Marashi said on Tuesday that the Iranian Hajj pilgrims, unaccounted for in Mina human tragedy on September 24, might have been buried in Saudi Arabia.

Marashi told a Conference on Saudi Government Responsibility in Mina Catastrophe that Saudi relief workers might have taken Iranian missing pilgrims as from other nationality and buried them in Saudi Arabia.

He said Mina catastrophe was predictable and preventable and Saudi officials were not careful enough even hours after the catastrophe.

He added that Saudi police, who were mostly young, prevented Iranian relief workers to enter the site of the tragedy for hours.
The official said even Saudi medical personnel were not trained enough to handle such an extent catastrophe.

The IRCS official further rebuked the Saudi police officers for not allowing the IRCS ambulances to enter the site of the human tragedy in the early hours.

‘However, Iranian IRCS relief workers managed to take about 600 Iranian and non-Iranian injured to hospital.’
He said two Iranian physicians were killed in the incident and a number of the relief workers were arrested for some hours by the Saudi police officers.

Meanwhile, Head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization Saeed Ohadi said that out of 65 Iranian pilgrims unaccounted for, bodies of 29 victims have been buried in Saudi Arabia.

According to the Saudi information service, the Iranian pilgrims have been fingerprinted and part of their nails have been collected for DNA tests before burial.

Ohadi stressed clarity of the places where the Iranian victims have been buried.

He added that Iran will continue its search for the remaining 36 missing Iranian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia.