He said Saudi authorities blocked a road used by hajj pilgrims to allow a royal convoy to pass through, causing the deadly convergence in Mina, a town on the outskirts of Mecca.
For years, the hajj was marred by stampedes and fires, but it had been largely incident-free for nine years after safety improvements and billions of dollars worth of infrastructure investment.
At least seven Myanmar Muslims are still unnacounted for following last week’s Hajj stampede, the Myanmar Times reported Monday.
Health Minister Khaled al-Falih on Saturday announced the new figure for Thursday’s disaster, an increase from the previous toll of 717.
The death toll in the fatal stampede in Mina, near Mecca, has risen to 769.
On Sunday, the London-based Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat reported that an official from Iran’s Hajj mission had confirmed the Saudi version of the cause of the disaster.
“The report said the presence of the prince in the middle of the population prompted a change in the direction of the movement of the pilgrims and a stampede”, Iran-owned Press TV said.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in an address to United Nations, demanded that an investigation be started into the Hajj accident.
One outspoken critic of redevelopment at the holy sites said police were not properly trained and lacked the language skills for communicating with foreign pilgrims, who make up the majority of those on the haj. He also said that another 934 people were injured in the stampede.
The authorities have yet to provide a breakdown of the nationalities of pilgrims killed in the stampede, as the hard process of identification continues.
A Saudi security guard sprays water over pilgrims to cool them down as they walk back to their tents after casting stones at Jamarrat pillars, a ritual that symbolises the stoning of Satan, during the annual pilgrimage, known as the hajj, in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Friday, September 25, 2015.
The way to prevent a stampede like we saw Saturday may be through smaller country quotas each year. A massive construction crane had collapsed on Makkah’s Grand Mosque and killed 109 people a week earlier.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir has firmly rejected Iran’s criticism of Saudi Arabia’s handling of the Haj pilgrimage.