At least 500 dead In Mecca As Pilgrims Cast Stones On Devil In Mina… Over 700 More Injured-Almost 500 people have been pronounced dead as a crowd stampede which ensued while the pilgrimage faithful prepared the ritualistic stoning of the devil in Mina, in the outskirt of Holy land Mecca. The venue of the dead was right on the doorstep of the cast-stone-on devil complex just steps away.
The stampede also caused major injury to about 800 which struggled to get set for the stoning.
Dead bodies littered the venue as the authority struggled to count the bodies and rescue the injured.
The Saudi Arabia’s civil defense directorate said more bodies are being counted as the death toll continued to rise.
Mina is on the outskirts of the Holy city of Mecca.
Mina is an important city in Saudi Arabia where pilgrims carry out a symbolic stoning of the devil by throwing stone pebbles against three stone walls, in spiritual term meaning to cast out out and destroy devil. It also houses more than 160,000 tents where pilgrims spend the night during the pilgrimage.
Al Jazeera’s Basma Atassi, reporting from Mina, said the incident took place in a street between pilgrim camps.
“The street where it happened is named Street 204. This stampede did not happen at the site of the ‘stoning of the devil’ ritual, which was happening today.
“During and after the stampede the pilgrims continued to flock into Mina to perform the devil stoning ritual.”