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Death Toll Rises To 717 In Hajj Stampede Near Mecca

BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – At least 717 people taking part in the Hajj pilgrimage have been killed in a stampede near the Islamic holy city of Mecca, officials in Saudi Arabia say.

Another 863 people were injured in the incident at Mina, which occurred as two million pilgrims were taking part in the Hajj’s last major rite.

It is the deadliest incident to occur during the pilgrimage in 25 years.

Preparations for the Hajj were marred when a crane collapsed at Mecca’s Grand Mosque this month, killing 109 people.

During the Hajj, pilgrims travel to Mina, a large valley about 5km (3 miles) from Mecca, to throw seven stones at pillars called Jamarat, which represent the devil.

The pillars stand where Satan is believed to have tempted the Prophet Abraham.

BBC

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