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Saudis say 717 dead in hajj stampede

7 years 6 months 6 days ago Thursday, September 24 2015 Sep 24, 2015 September 24, 2015 7:54 AM September 24, 2015 in News
Source: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

MECCA, Saudi Arabia - Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry says the crush of Muslim pilgrims that killed more than 700 people outside Mecca appears to have been caused by two waves of pilgrims meeting at an intersection.

Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki said high temperatures and the fatigue of the pilgrims might also have been factors in Thursday's disaster, the deadliest event to afflict the hajj pilgrimage in more than two decades.

He says there is no indication that authorities are to blame for the event, saying "unfortunately, these incidents happen in a moment."

Al-Turki says King Salman has ordered the creation of committee to investigate the incident.

Some 2 million people take part in the annual hajj pilgrimage, which all able-bodied Muslims are required to undertake at least once in their lives.

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