Bodies of 40 Iranian pilgrims buried in Saudi Arabia

Gonbad Kavoos, Golestan prov, Sept 12, IRNA – Head of Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization Saeed Ohadi said none of the bodies of Iranian victims of last year’s Hajj tragedy was missing in Saudi Arabia, adding only 40 bodies are buried in that country.

Ohadi made the remarks Sunday in a meeting with families of a number of Hajj tragedy victims from this northeastern province.

Over 7,000 pilgrims, including 461 Iranians, were killed in a stampede during the Stoning of the Satan ritual in Mina last year due to the mismanagement of the Saudi rulers.

According to Ohadi, bodies of a total number of 79 Iranian Hajj martyrs (the term used in Iran to refer to the Hajj victims) were buried in Saudi Arabia but 39 of them have been returned home after being identified.

However, he added that bodies of 40 Iranian pilgrims are still buried in Saudi Arabia due to the obstacles made by Riyadh on the way of cooperating with Tehran for returning the bodies despite the fact that a special committee was formed by the two countries to facilitate the bodies repatriation to Iran.

Families of 37 Hajj martyrs have consented that bodies of their beloved ones be buried in Saudi Arabia but three others have not so far agreed to it, Ohadi said.

He added that following the Hajj tragedy in 2015, Saudi Arabia buried over 6,000 bodies of the victims from other countries in its soil, but Iran was the only country which did not let Saudi government do the same with Iranian martyrs of the incident.