Mecca Stampede: Saudi Prince Orders Probe

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Riyadh: Saudi crown Prince orders stampede probe; 700 dead and over 800 injured in the stampede on the last day of Haji. Saudi Arabia’s crown Prince has ordered an investigation into the stampede at the hajj pilgrimage that left over 700 dead.

Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who chairs the Saudi Hajj committee, ordered the probe during a meeting with senior officials responsible for the pilgrimage in Mina, where the stampede took place.

The findings of the investigation will be submitted to King Salman, “who will take appropriate measures” in response.

Meanwhile, authorities claim that the incident occurred during the stoning of Satan in Mina.

Bakr-Id is being observed in Saudi Arabia and pilgrims had gathered in Mina to perform the rituals.

The tragedy comes on the heels of another one, in which 108 people were killed when a massive construction crane collapsed on Mecca’s Grand Mosque on September 11 as thousands were gathering for the Hajj.

President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi condole the death of Hajj pilgrims in Saudi Arabia.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said that the Indian authorities will provide all help to Indian nationals present at Mecca’s Grand Mosque.

In a tweet, she said that the government is in constant touch with Saudi authorities.

She added that Indian Embassy officials have reported that the process of identification of bodies is on and this will take at least 24 hours, following which Saudi authorities will disclose their identity with photographs.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that he was “deeply saddened” to learn of the deaths of Hajj pilgrims.

The secretary-general extended his sincere condolences to the families of the victims and expressed his sympathies to all the governments concerned.

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