At Least 220 People Die in Stampede During Hajj Pilgrimage to Mecca

World | September 24, 2015, Thursday // 11:47|  views

Muslim pilgrims perform the midday prayer at the Nimra Mosque, believed to have been bult on the spot where the Prophet Mohamed stopped to pray the day he made his last sermon, on the Arafat plain, near Mecca, Saudi Arabia, 23 September 2015. Photo: EPA

At least 220 people died and another 450 were injured on Thursday as a stampede occurred during the annual Hajj pilgrimage to the Islamic holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

The incident occurred at the neighbourhood of Mina, which is located five kilometres from Mecca.

The incident comes on the first day of Eid al-Adha or the Feast of the Sacrifice, one of the two religious holidays celebrated by Muslims annually.

Mina has a prominent role in the Hajj as it provides temporary accommodation for the pilgrims in more than 100 000 tents and is at the centre of religious celebrations.

Two million people are taking part in this year's Hajj, which began on Tuesday, Al Jazeera reports.

The number of victims is expected to rise and rescue operations are ongoing.

The latest incident was preceded by the death of 107 people earlier in September when a crane collapsed and crashed into the Grand Mosque in Mecca.

Despite the safety measures taken by Saudi authorities, stampedes and other incidents resulting from the mass gathering of people continue to occur.


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Tags: Feast of the Sacrifice, Eid al-Adha, incident, stampede, pilgrimage, Hajj, Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Grand Mosque


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