Tuesday, August 16

History of tragedies at hajj pilgrimage



MECCA, Saudi Arabia: The deadly stampede at the hajj in Saudi Arabia on Thursday that killed at least 717 people is just the latest tragedy to strike the pilgrimage, reports AFP.

Here is a timeline of significant incidents during the annual event, which draws around two million Muslim faithful from around the world.

– 2015 –

September 24: A stampede during the “stoning of the devil” ritual in Mina, near Mecca, leaves at least 717 people dead and 863 injured.

September 11: 109 people are killed and hundreds injured, including many foreigners, when a crane col-lapses on Mecca’s Grand Mosque after strong winds and heavy rain.

– 2006 –

January 6: 76 people die when a hotel collapses in the city centre.

January 12: 364 pilgrims killed in a stampede during the Mina stoning ritual in which hajj participants throw pebbles at three headstones, symbolising their rejection of Satan.

– 2005 –

January 22: Three pilgrims crushed to death in a stampede at the stoning ceremony.

– 2004 –

February 1: 251 people killed in a stampede at Mina, also at the stoning of the devil.

– 2003 –

February 11: 14 faithful, including six women, die on the first day of the stoning ritual.

– 2001 –

March 5: 35 pilgrims, including 23 women, die at the ritual in Mina.

– 1998 –

April 9: More than 118 people killed and 180 injured in a stampede at Mina.

1997 –

April 15: A fire caused by a gas stove rips through a camp housing pilgrims at Mina, killing 343 and in-juring around 1,500.

– 1995 –

May 7: Three people die and 99 are injured in a fire at the Mina camp.

– 1994 –

May 24: 270 people killed in a stampede during the stoning, an incident authorities attribute to “record numbers” of pilgrims.

– 1990 –

July 2: A huge stampede in a tunnel at Mina after a ventilation system failure kills 1,426 pilgrims, mainly from Asia.

– 1989 –

July 10: A twin attack on the outside of the Grand Mosque kills one and wounds 16. Sixteen Kuwaiti Shiites are found guilty and executed weeks later.

– 1987 –

July 31: Saudi security forces suppress an unauthorised protest by Iranian pilgrims. More than 400 people including 275 Iranians are killed, according to an official toll.

– 1979 –

November 20: Hundreds of gunmen opposed to the Saudi government barricade themselves inside the Grand Mosque, taking dozens of pilgrims hostage. The official toll of the assault and subsequent fighting is 153 dead and 560 wounded.

– 1975 –

December: A huge fire started by a gas canister exploding in a pilgrim camp close to Mecca kills 200 people.