Home Latest News Pilgrims Injured in Mecca Stampede

Pilgrims Injured in Mecca Stampede

by AFP
File Photo. Mohammed al-Shaikh—AFP

File Photo. Mohammed al-Shaikh—AFP

Saudi media says none of the 18 victims needed to be admitted to hospital and were all treated at the scene.

Eighteen pilgrims have been injured in a stampede near Islam’s holiest site, Saudi media reported on Saturday, as the kingdom continues to review safety after a deadly crush during last year’s haj.

The incident happened on Friday night near the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the Al-Riyadh newspaper said, as Muslims gathered in large numbers to mark the Night of Destiny, one of the high points of the holy fasting month of Ramzan.

All the injured were treated at the scene and none required admission to hospital, the newspaper cited a health official as saying.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims flock to Mecca to carry out the lesser umrah pilgrimage during Ramzan—especially during its last 10 days. These include the Night of Destiny, when the angel Gabriel is believed to have given Islam’s Prophet the verses of the Quran.

The incident comes as Saudi authorities continue to unveil new safety measures for this year’s haj in September. A crush at last year’s haj killed more than 2,000 pilgrims in the worst disaster to ever strike the annual ritual.

According to figures from foreign officials, at least 2,297 pilgrims died. Saudi Arabia issued a death toll of 769.

Newspapers reported on Friday that, among new security measures, haj pilgrims this year will have to wear an electronic safety bracelet to store their personal information, including address and medical records.

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