At least 717 people that were performing the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia have died in a stampede near the Islamic holy city of Mecca, online media sources indicate.
Uganda’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Sheikh Rashid Yahya Ssemuddu however posted on social media site Facebook that no Ugandan had died in the stampede. He clarified that one old woman who died at Muzdalifa the previous day, had been sick.
The BBC reported that majority of the dead were from West African countries of Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Senegal.
There is no confirmation yet of a Ugandan who has died in the
Another 863 people sustained injuries in the incident at Mina, pilgrims tried to go in opposite directions. The pilgrims were taking part in the Hajj’s last major rite of throwing stones at pillars that represent the devil.
This is the second major death incident this year following one that saw 109 people killed when a crane collapsed near the Grand Mosque in Mecca a few weeks ago.
It is the deadliest incident to occur during the Hajj in 25 years.
Saudi authorities blamed the stampede on indiscipline of some pilgrims.
The pilgrims were walking towards the five-storey structure which surrounds the pillars, known as the Jamarat Bridge.
The incident happened when there was a “sudden increase” in the number of pilgrims heading towards the pillars, the statement said.