The death toll from Thursday’s stampede at the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, known as the Haj, has risen to 769.
Saudi Health Minister Khalid al-Falih said in a news release posted on his ministry’s website that an investigation would be conducted rapidly and a final toll calculated.
Ohadi was quoted on state television as saying that 344 Iranians are still missing in Mina.
A senior Iranian diplomat urges Saudi Arabia to fulfill its responsibility and seriously cooperate with Iran to identify those who are still missing following the recent deadly incident during the Hajj rituals in Mina, outside the holy city of Mecca.
India’s Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted that Saudi authorities have released photos of pilgrims who died in Thursday’s stampede.
A pilgrim points at a crane that collapsed and killed dozens inside the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Friday, September 11, 2015.
Iran has summoned the Saudi charge d’affairs three times to ask Riyadh for more cooperation over the incident.
Relations between Syiah Iran and Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia were already severely strained by conflicts in Yemen and Syria that Riyadh views as a bid by Teheran to expand its influence.
The stampede was the worst disaster in a quarter-century to strike the annual event and drew fierce criticism of the Saudi authorities’ handling of safety, particularly from regional rival Iran. At least 18 Pakistanis died, while Algeria said seven of its citizens perished in the stampede.
Secretary General of Iran’s Red Crescent Society Ali Asqar Ahmadi said Saudi Arabia is not issuing permits for a special flight to return the injured Iranian pilgrims, saying it was the reason why the injured pilgrims have not been returned home for medical treatment.
Kabir was in a procession heading towards the Jamarat Bridge when, he said, police let pilgrims returning from the stoning site use the same route.
About 2 million people took part in this year’s hajj, which started Tuesday and ended Saturday.
“The incident shows mismanagement and lack of serious attention to the safety of pilgrims”. Large fans also sprayed mist to keep the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims performing their hajj rites from over-heating.
As per Haj guidelines, all pilgrims, upon their arrival in Mina, are required to rest in their tents to restore strength following their tiring foot trip from Muzdalefa.
Saudi Arabia’s top religious leader, Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, told Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef that the incident was beyond human control.