Monday, February 6, 2023

Stampede in Mecca Once Again Wounds Pilgrims

18 Hajj pilgrims were injured and suffered partial suffocation when a huge crowd thronged in front of Grand Mosque of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Here’s IFP’s translation of a report by IRNA:

According to Saudi media, Mecca’s emergency department dispatched a team of rescue workers on an emergency call about a stampede in front of “Dar al-Tawhid” Hotel near Masjid al-Ḥarām [Grand Mosque], where 18 injured pilgrims received outpatient treatment.

Mecca’s Department of Health Affairs added that 4 hospitals have been put on high alert near Masjid al-Ḥarām and 8 rescue teams dispatched to the location.

The night before the accident was Laylat al-Qadr or the Night of Value [the night when the first verses of Holy Quran were revealed]; therefore, more than 750 Sunni pilgrims had gathered in Masjid al-Ḥarām to perform Tarawih prayer [extra prayers performed by Sunni Muslims at night in the Islamic month of Ramadan].

The accident is reminiscent of the deadly stampede in Mina on September 24, 2015, when a crush caused the deaths of thousands of Muslim people visiting the holy site. The pilgrims, including more than 460 Iranians, suffocated or crushed to death, which attest to the inefficiency and lack of foresight of the Saudi government.

Last year’s Hajj killed more than 2,000 pilgrims in the worst disaster to ever strike the annual ritual.

According to figures from foreign officials, at least 2,297 pilgrims died. Saudi Arabia issued a death toll of 769.

The Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages bring millions of Muslims to the holy places in Saudi Arabia every year.

Saudi authorities allege that they are unveiling new safety measures for this year’s Hajj in September.

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