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    An ambulance evacuates victims following a crush caused by large numbers of people pushing at Mina, outside the Muslim holy city of Mecca September 24, 2015.

    Iran to Summon Saudi Envoy Over Deadly Stampede Near Mecca

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    Iran will summon Saudi Arabia’s envoy in Tehran in protest of the stampede that killed hundreds of worshipers during a pilgrimage on the Muslim holiday, a senior Iranian diplomat said Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs, spoke on state television as the Saudi civil defense service reported the deaths of 717 people and injuries to 863 people at the annual Hajj pilgrimage near the holy city of Mecca.

    "We absolutely would not remain indifferent to Saudis’ irresponsible conduct and will summon their charge d'affaires to voice our strongest protests over sheer irresponsibility and mismanagement of affairs in Mina incident," the diplomat said as quoted by the Mehr news agency.

    Reports allege 43 Iranian nationals were among those who died on the Eid al-Adha holiday.

    According to Abdollahian, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani established a special committee to facilitate diplomatic communications, transfer the injured pilgrims and provide logistical support.

    The deadly stampede broke out on Thursday morning when two large crowds collided during a symbolic ritual of stoning the devil. Nearly 2 million people are thought to be attending the annual hajj in Saudi Arabia.


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