Over 2,400 pilgrims killed in Saudi hajj stampede: AP

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - The September stampede during the hajj in Saudi Arabia killed at least 2,411 pilgrims, a new Associated Press count shows, three times the number of deaths acknowledged by the kingdom three months later.

See Full Article

The AP figures establish the Sept. 24 crush at Mina as the deadliest in the history of the annual pilgrimage. It occurred just weeks after a fatal crane collapse in Mecca.

Saudi Arabia rebuffed criticism from its regional Shiite rival Iran and efforts by other countries to join a probe into the deaths. And while King Salman ordered an investigation into the tragedy almost immediately, few details have been made public since.

The AP count is based on state media reports and officials' comments from 36 of the over 180 countries that sent citizens to the hajj. Hundreds of pilgrims remain missing. The official Saudi toll of 769 people killed has not changed since Sept. 26, and officials there have yet to address the discrepancy.

The state-run Saudi Press Agency has not mentioned the investigation into the disaster since Oct. 19, when it reported that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who is also the kingdom's interior minister, was "reassured on the progress of the investigations." The crown prince is the next in line to the throne and any blame cast on the Interior Ministry, which oversees safety during the hajj, could reflect negatively on him.

The ruling Al Saud family maintains its major influence in the Muslim world through its oil wealth and its management of Islam's holiest sites. Like Saudi monarchs before him, King Salman has taken the title of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.

Authorities have said the Mina crush and stampede occurred when two waves of pilgrims converged on a narrow road, suffocating or trampling to death those caught in the disaster. Saudi Arabia has spent billions of dollars on crowd control and safety measures for those attending the annual five-day pilgrimage, required of all able-bodied Muslims once in their life, but the sheer number of participants makes ensuring their safety difficult.

The hajj this year drew some 2 million pilgrims, though in recent years it has drawn more than 3 million without any major incidents.

Iran was most affected by the disaster, according to the AP count, with 464 Iranian pilgrims killed. Mali said it lost 305 people, while Nigeria lost 274 and 190 pilgrims from Egypt were killed.

Others include Bangladesh with 137 pilgrims killed; Indonesia with 129; India with 120; Cameroon with 103; Pakistan with 102; Niger with 92; Senegal with 61; Ethiopia with 53; Ivory Coast with 52; Benin with 50; Algeria with 46; Chad with 43; Morocco with 42; Sudan with 30; Tanzania with 25; Burkina Faso with 22; Kenya with 12; Somalia with 10; Ghana, Tunisia and Turkey each with seven; Libya and Myanmar with six apiece; China with four; Afghanistan, Djibouti, the Gambia and Jordan with two each; and Lebanon, Malaysia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka each with one.

The second deadliest incident at hajj was a 1990 stampede that killed 1,426 people. The Sept. 11 crane collapse at Mecca's Grand Mosque, which preceded the Mina disaster, killed 111 people.

-----

Associated Press writer Baba Ahmed in Dakar, Senegal, contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Burning high-rise collapses, killing at least 30 firefighters in Tehran [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    TEHRAN, Iran — A high-rise building in Tehran engulfed by fire collapsed on Thursday, killing at least 30 firefighters and injuring some 75 people, state media reported. The disaster struck the Plasco building, an iconic structure in central Tehran just north of the Iranian capital’s sprawling bazaar. Source
  • 'We need heavy machinery!'; 30 missing after avalanche in Italy buries hotel [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    MILAN — Rescue workers were met with an eerie silence Thursday when they reached a four-star spa hotel struck by an avalanche in a mountainous earthquake-stricken region of central Italy. At least 30 people were missing, including at least two children, authorities said. Source
  • Islamic State lost a quarter of its territory in 2016: report

    World News CTV News
    IRBIL, Iraq -- Researchers say the Islamic State group lost nearly a quarter of its territory last year, as an array of forces pressured it on multiple fronts in Syria and Iraq. In a report published Thursday, IHS Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Center called the territorial losses "unprecedented" and predicted IS militants would be driven from the northern Iraqi city of Mosul later this year. Source
  • A terrorist gets out of jail for free

    World News Toronto Sun
    "The quality of mercy is not strain'd," Shakespeare wrote. "It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven/Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:/It blesseth him that gives and him that takes." In that spirit, and unconstrained by reelection politics, President Barack Obama used his last week in office to grant clemency to hundreds of federal prisoners, reducing the sentences of some and pardoning others outright. Source
  • WATCH: Viral video shows bears begging for food at Indonesian zoo

    World News Toronto Sun
    An Indonesian zoo is under fire, again, after a video showing dangerously skinny bears begging visitors for food went viral earlier this week. The video, posted to YouTube back in May but only now is gaining steam internationally due to an article published Tuesday by the Daily Mail, shows three seemingly malnourished Bandung Zoo sun bears trying to catch food being thrown into their enclosure by patrons. Source
  • U.S. releases final batch of bin Laden documents

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- In its final hours, the Obama administration on Thursday released the last of three installments of documents belonging to Osama bin Laden that were seized in a 2011 raid that killed the al Qaeda leader in his secret compound. Source
  • Quebec woman arrested in the Bahamas for allegedly having sex with a minor

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL - A Quebec mother of three is under arrest in the Bahamas for allegedly having sex with a teenage boy. Karine Gagne, 23, is accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old American boy earlier this month. Source
  • Quebec mom arrested in the Bahamas for allegedly having sex with teen

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    MONTREAL — A Quebec mother of three is under arrest in the Bahamas for allegedly having sex with a teenage boy. Karine Gagne, 23, is accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old American boy earlier this month. Her mother tells Radio-Canada her daughter was on a cruise ship when she met a young male who supposedly told her he was 18. Source
  • O'Leary: If I don't win a majority then 'fire me'

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Kevin O’Leary is telling Conservatives to give him the boot if he doesn’t win a majority mandate for the party in 2019. He also wants to use drones instead of jets to patrol our borders to save money. Source
  • Garland murder trial to hear about tampered lock on victims' home

    Canada News CBC News
    CBC News is bringing you the latest developments from the trial when it resumes Thursday. You can also follow the latest tweets from Meghan Grant, the CBC's reporter in the courtroom, at the bottom of this story or, if on mobile, in this live blog. Source