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    Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

    Saudi Government Negligence Cause of Deadly Stampede Near Mecca - Khamenei

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    Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said that the deadly stampede at the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia was a consequence of the Saudi government's negligence.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The deadly stampede at the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia was a consequence of the Saudi government's negligence, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said Thursday.

    Earlier on Thursday, at least 717 people were killed and over 860 injured in a crush that occurred in the Mina Valley near Mecca, as hundreds of thousands of pilgrims gathered to celebrate the Muslim religious holiday of Eid al-Adha.

    "The Saudi government is obliged to accept its heavy responsibility in this bitter incident and meet its obligations in compliance with the rule of righteousness and fairness; mismanagement and improper measures that were behind this tragedy should not be undermined," Khamenei said as quoted by the Iran’s IRNA agency.

    The Islamic Republic declared a three-day national mourning over the loss of 90 Iranian pilgrims that have been confirmed dead. At least 150 Iran's citizens had been injured in the crush.

    The Saudi government set up a task force to determine the reasons behind the deadly stampede, while Saudi Health Minister Khalid Al-Falih said that the tragedy was caused by the pilgrims’ behaviour. Many of them ignored the organizers' schedule when heading to perform the "stoning-of-the-devil" ritual, the minister added.


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