Category:Mena Disaster


            Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul-Aziz ibn Abdullah Al ash-Sheikh, Saudi Arabia's top religious leader (appointed to his position by King Fahd in 1999), told Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince and Minister of the Interior, Muhammad bin Nayef, "You are not responsible for what happened. As for the things that humans cannot control, you are not blamed for them. Fate and destiny are inevitable".
•          Irfan al-Alawi, the executive director of the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation, said that "the disaster was a result of poor management by the government, given the number of past disasters."
•          Madawi al-Rasheed,a Saudi-Arabian anthropologist and visiting professor at the London School of Economics, said: "There is no accountability. It’s shocking that almost every year there is some kind of death toll. The renovation and expansion are done under the pretext of creating more space for Muslim pilgrims, but it masks land grabs and vast amounts of money being made by the princes and by other Saudis. Officials in the kingdom had avoided responsibility in part by citing the Islamic doctrine that anyone who dies during the pilgrimage goes to heaven."
•          Ali al-Ahmed,a Saudi analyst and current director of the Washington, DC-based Institute for Gulf Affairs think tank blamed the Saudi government’s "mismanagement" of the Hajj, saying that "the Ministry of Interior’s use of soldiers who have no clue or expertise in managing crowds was the real cause of stampedes. This really has to do with the failure of the Saudi government in organizing this Hajj, and they need to get help from around the world."
•          Saeed al-Shehabi,a London-based political activist in an interview with Iranian-based television Press TV said that, "In Saudi Arabia; it is good the Saudis are good at war, are good at financing terrorism and extremism, they are bombing Yemen days and nights, yet they cannot manage this annual festival where Muslims are expected to exercise their worship in peace and in harmony and also to discuss their own lively matters that concern Muslims."
•          Salman al-Ouda,a Saudi cleric said that "Riyadh regime should be held accountable for the crush, adding that Saudi rulers cannot evade their responsibility by labeling the tragedy as an act of God." He called on media outlets to cover the incident with full transparency.
•          Yasmin Alibhai-Brown,a Ugandan British author and journalist, seized upon the incident to blast Saudi Arabia for its human rights violations and funding violent Wahhabism in the world. She criticized the Saudi government for blaming the victims in the incident and added "Mecca was once a place of simplicity and spirituality. Today the avaricious Saudis have bulldozed historical sites and turned it into the Las Vegas of Islam – with hotels, skyscrapers and malls to spend, spend, spend. The poor can no longer afford to go there. Numbers should be controlled to ensure safety – but that would be ruinous for profits." She also added that Western leaders are not willing to confront Saudi Arabia because of oil and profits made by arm sales.
•           It was reported that an unnamed prince and grandson ofAbdul Aziz Ibn Saud, founder of Saudi Arabia, citing unrest among the royal family, plummeting oil prices and criticism of Saudi’s management of Mecca days after a stampede during Hajj claimed 1,100 lives, said there was a need for a change in leadership. The prince explained a double tragedy in Mecca – the collapse of a crane that killed more than 100, followed by a stampede last week that killed 1,100 – has raised questions not just about social issues, but also about royal stewardship of the holiest site in Islam. "The public are also pushing this very hard, all kinds of people, tribal leaders," the prince added. "They say you have to do this or the country will go to disaster."7 However, the authenticity of the grandson and his letter has been questioned.
•          Abbass Schumann,the Undersecretary of Al-Azhar, Egypt, said that allegations of negligence concerning Saudi’s administration and handling of the hajj are "unacceptable". Schumann called for patience pending the conclusion of the investigation by Saudi Arabia, and cautioned against rushing to judgment.
•          Vijay Prashad,Northampton-based journalist and historian, said that survivors told journalists that Saudi's response to the tragedy was "too little, too late," stressing that Saudi rescuers arrived almost two hours after the incident. ...much of Mecca, like Saudi Arabia in general, is designed for the VIP and the VVIP. Embarrassingly, Riyadh provides little if any care to ordinary people and it is not the first time that Saudi Arabia has demonstrated disdain for the lives of Muslims. Instead of pouring money into the war, Riyadh should use its wealth to make the Hajj safe not only for the VIPs, but for millions of ordinary Muslims.
•           Citing the rumors about the block,Basma Attasi, the reporter from Al Jazeera who was present in the ritual, explained "For those who know the area where the stampede occurred, this report seems far from reality. The relatively humble area is far from the entrance to Mina and houses ordinary pilgrims arriving from outside of Saudi Arabia. Important personalities stay in areas close to the entrance and their convoys are assigned separate tunnels and roads to facilitate their movement."
•          Moussa Mara,former Prime Minister of Mali, said that "the the Divine Will must be evoked after objective analysis, not before. Otherwise no corrective action will be taken and, one day, the same causes will produce the same effects" and called for a thorough investigation and analysis of the Mina crush so as to reduce or eliminate the possibility of such disasters happening again in the future.
•          Toby Craig Jones,professor of Middle Eastern history at Rutgers University told the The New York Times that he was "not surprised at the Saudi reluctance to give information on what could be a catastrophic case of negligence". Jones stated that the Saudis "want to say it’s a technical problem, that order broke down because the victims were unruly. But what if the opposite were true — that the Saudis haven’t created a safe environment for the hajj? For the Saudis to be open and honest about what happened would require them to admit it’s not a technical problem at all."
Dr. Romesh Gautam, Indian legal expert
A senior lawyer of the Supreme Court of India on Tuesday put the responsibility of the disastrous stampede in Mina on the Saudi Arabia government and called for filing a case against Riyadh in the International Court of Justice (ICJ)
A senior lawyer of the Supreme Court of India on Tuesday put the responsibility of the disastrous stampede in Mina on the Saudi Arabia government and called for filing a case against Riyadh in the International Court of Justice (ICJ)
Dr. Romesh Gautam, said, “The Saudi Arabia is totally responsible for the incident in Mina. Occurrence of the incident is nothing but a total mismanagement of the Hajj ceremony by the Saudi government.”
As per the established conventions, when we visit a particular county, the host county is fully responsible for our safety there. But the Saudi government has totally failed in ensuring the safety and security of the Hajj pilgrims during the current Hajj ceremony”, he added.
Terming the Mina incident as a “pure security lapse”, Dr. Gautam said, “No doubt, the Mina incident in which a large number of people lost their lives was not an act of God. But, it was purely a security lapse and the Saudi government is fully responsible for it.”
“Saudi government should compensate the losses inflicted on the victims of the incident”, the seasoned legal expert added.
Expressing his readiness to fight on behalf of victims of the Mina incident in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the Saudi government, Dr. Gautam said, “The Saudi government should be tried in ICJ. I fully support this cause and I am ready to help the family members of the victims to get justice. Every county that has lost its nationals in the incident should go to ICJ.”
Emphasizing the need for management of the Hajj ceremony by a joint committee of the member states of the Organizations of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), he added, “Given the repeated disastrous incidents during the Hajj ceremony in the recent years, it would be better if a joint committee of the member states of the OIC mange the ceremony to avert such incidents in future.”
“India has lost a number of its nationals in the Mina incident and New Delhi also should support this idea”, Dr. Gautam added.[1]
Sayyed Nasrallah: Saudi Kingdom Responsible for Hajj Tragedy
Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah assured that greetings in the year 2015 are accompanied with condolences due to the tragic incident in Mina that left over 4000 pilgrims dead.
His eminence considered that the Saudi regime holds the full responsibility for the Mina incident as it was the sole manager of the pilgrimage and it has always refused to share this responsibility with anyone else. As he stressed that blaming the pilgrims for this tragedy was a simplification of things, he pointed out that the consequent accidents in the pilgrimage that take place every year indicate that there is a major problem in Saudi's management to the pilgrimage.
In an interview with al-Manar channel His Eminence added that "the countries that were most affected should join the inquiry into the incident."
He further called for the participation of delegates from the countries with the largest number of casualties in the investigation committee in the pilgrimage incident.
As the Resistance Leader heaped scorn on Riyadh for refusing any assistance in handling Hajj affairs, he called the Saudi Kingdom to allow Muslim countries to help the kingdom run the Hajj pilgrimage rituals.
He also emphasized the need for the formation of a Muslim committee to "supervise the management" of the annual Islamic event.
Nouri al-Maliki Urges Trial of Perpetrators of Mina Tragedy
Former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki insisted that those responsible for a deadly crush of Hajj pilgrims in Mina, Saudi Arabia, should be brought to justice.
Former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki insisted that those responsible for a deadly crush of Hajj pilgrims in Mina, Saudi Arabia, should be brought to justice.
Maliki said the Riyadh regime should be held accountable for the Mina catastrophe, and blamed “poor management” for the incident.
He also called for an inquiry to ascertain the cause of the crush, stressing that the whole countries whose nationals have died in the incident should oversee the process of investigation.
The Iraqi politician also hailed Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei’s stance towards Saudi Arabia after the Mina deaths.
Maliki said the Leader’s comments "well laid bare the threat of Takfiri Wahhabism originating from Saudi Arabia."[2]
Sheikh Zakzaky, Leader of the Shiite Islamic Movement in Nigeria
Leader of the Shiite Islamic Movement in Nigeria, his eminence, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky says the management of hajj pilgrimage and the two holy mosques and other sanctities in Saudi Arabia is the responsibility of the Muslims world
Leader of the Shiite Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky says the management of hajj pilgrimage and the two holy mosques and other sanctities in Saudi Arabia is the responsibility of the Muslims world, and not exclusive reserve of the Al-Saud royal family.
Sheikh Zakzaky was responding to questions on the unfortunate tragedy in Saudi Arabia, by members of the Media Forum of the Islamic Movement who paid him Eid al-Adha homage at his residence in Gyellesu, Zaria on Saturday.
The Islamic scholar who made similar statement to pressmen in Kaduna during a condolence visit to the family of late Hajiya Bilkisu Yusuf, a victim of the tragedy said the city of Makkah is home to every Muslim believer and whatever therein belongs to all Muslims.
He said, Muslims of all nations should be involved in the management of the hajj operations for effective coordination, welfare and safety of pilgrims.
Sheikh Zakzaky pointed out that, the Al-Saud family cannot be trusted, when its hands are soaked with Muslims’ blood in countries such as Yemen, Bahrain, Iraq and Syria.
According to him, the Al-Saud prince whose convoy caused the tragedy and all those complicity in the crime should be punished by death, as they caused the death of thousands of innocent pilgrims.
“For the government of Saudi Arabia to blame pilgrims for killing themselves is ridiculous and a form of human degradation, which is also criminal. They are saying this in order to cover up the real cause of the tragedy”.
Sheikh Zakzaky further explained that, if the Saudi government could describe the crane tragedy at the precincts of the holy Ka’abah as accidental, “We wonder why the crane would be left hanging over the heads of millions of pilgrims, and only to crash on them on September”.
“The Saudi authorities cannot fool the world or exonerate itself from the heinous crime and monumental tragedy, as the world knows who is killing their brethren in Yemen, Bahrain, Iraq and Syria”, said Sheikh Zakzaky.
Niaz Hussain Naqvi, Pakistani Shia cleric
A senior Pakistani Shia Cleric says that Saudi Arabia is responsible for the management of Hajj related activities so responsibility of Mina tragedy falls on the shoulders of Saudi government.
‘Niaz Hussain Naqvi’, vice president ‘Wafaqul Madaris Shia Pakistan’ said that Saudi Arabia should accept the responsibility and apologize to the whole Muslim world over its mismanagement which resulted in Mina incident.
 “Saudi government had appointed inexperienced and incompetent staff at Mina, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of Haji pilgrims,” he said.
He went on to say that at the moment there is uncertainty over the cause of the Mina stampede.
“Instead of accepting the responsibility of the incident, Saudi Arabia has praised the performance of its Hajj staff. They are not ashamed over Mina tragedy which is very unfortunate,” he added.
He said that Saudi government did not show any respect for the dead bodies of Hajj pilgrims, martyred in Mina tragedy. “No doubt the government of Saudi Arabia is incompetent and cannot handle Hajj gathering alone,” he said.
Niaz Hussain Naqvi also slammed the Pakistani government for warning news channels against any criticism of Saudi Arabia. “The Pakistani channels were only trying to inform the people about Mina tragedy facts and it was a step in the right direction, but the government issued a warning against them which is a highly condemnable act,” he said.
The cleric said that Saudi Arabia does not agree with the suggestion of independent probe into the Mina tragedy because it will reveal their incompetence in dealing with Hajj matters.
He added that the holy sites of Mecca and Medina belong to entire Muslim Ummah, therefore, all the Muslim counties in the world should have joint control of all the matters related to Hajj.
Maulana Kalbe Jawad, Senior Indian cleric
Shia Cleric and Friday prayer leader of Lucknow, Maulana Kalbe Jawad blamed presence of a Saudi prince for stampede that killed over 1500 pilgrims during Hajj in Mina, near Mecca.
He also supported demand of Iran that Saudi Arabia hand over control of the annual pilgrimage to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the world's largest body of Muslim nations.
Addressing a gathering of Shia after Bakrid (al-Adha) prayer, Mr. Jawad, who is also general secretary of Majlis-e-Ulama-e-Hind, an all India body of clerics, said the prince came in his car along with the convoy to throw pebble for the 'stoning of devil' ritual.
Referring to a video gone viral on social media, he said seven out of 13 roads were closed due to presence of the prince and his convoy, forcing pilgrims from different directions to converge at a point, leading to panic and stampede.
Demanding action against those responsible for the tragedy, Jawad said the video shows the prince was throwing pebble from inside the car. Saudi Arabia has rejected Iran's allegation on the prince.
Jawad reiterated that agitation against corruption in Shia Central Wakf Board, UP would continue. He also alleged that the recent fire at Sunni Waqf Board office was a conspiracy to destroy evidences of corruption. "Like Sunni Waqf Board, corrupt elements in the government would have also destroyed evidences of corruption in Shia Wakf Board but the pressure mounted by Shia community to order CBI probe prevented them from doing so," he claimed.
Abdul Alim Musa, Imam of Masjid al-Islam
Press TV has interviewed the imam of Masjid al-Islam in Washington, Abdul Alim Musa, to discuss Saudi Arabia’s mismanagement of Hajj rituals, which led to the crush in Mina, near Mecca.
Musa says Saudi Arabia has a long history of ignoring the safety of the Muslim pilgrims, adding that Saudi police brutality left at least 400 dead in 1987 and another 1,400 pilgrims were killed in a crush the next year.
He says Saudi Arabia should be stripped of the authority to run the Hajj pilgrimage, because it does not pay attention to the pilgrims’ safety, adding that while “Mecca should be a haven of peace and tranquility,” it has turned – under Saudi management – to an “area of turmoil.”
The imam refers to Al Saud’s negligence toward Islamic values and the need for neutrality during the most important pilgrimage in Islam, saying that Riyadh refused to allow Yemeni Muslims to travel to Saudi Arabia in order to perform this year’s Hajj rituals.
Musa expresses hope that other Muslim nations would be able to take the responsibility of running the Hajj rites in their hands in the future to avoid catastrophes like the recent crane crash in Mecca and the deadly crush in Mina.[3]
Saudi cleric: Riyadh regime responsible for Hajj Tragedy
A Saudi cleric says the Riyadh regime should be held accountable for the crush that killed hundreds of Hajj pilgrims at Mina, adding that Saudi rulers cannot evade their responsibility by labeling the tragedy as an act of God.
In a video that circulated on social networking sites, Salman bin Fahd bin Abdullah al-Ouda, rejected the views that the repeated incidents during the Hajj pilgrimage could be justified simply by describing them as an act of God, which is inevitable.
The cleric further emphasized that Islam attaches great significance to protecting people’s lives and providing security during religious rituals, calling on Muslim countries to make efforts to that effect.
Ouda also called on media outlets to cover the incident with full transparency.
The remarks by the Saudi sheikh comes as Saudi Arabia’s top religious leader Abdul-Aziz ibn Abdullah ash-Sheikh attempted to take the responsibility for the Mina stampede off the Riyadh regime’s shoulders, claiming that the incident was beyond human control.
Sheikh made the remarks in a Saturday meeting with Saudi Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef, whom he said was not to blame for the deaths of hundreds of pilgrims outside the holy city of Mecca earlier this week.
He added that pilgrims must stick to “the rules and regulations taken by the security personnel... In doing so, they protect their lives, their security and facilitate their performing of the rituals.”[4]
Shaykh Abdul-Naser al-Jabri, a Lebanese Sunni scholar
A Lebanese Sunni scholar pointed out the inadequacy of the House of Saud in managing the Hajj pilgrimage and emphasized that the Mina case should be reviewed by appropriate courts in Arab and Muslim countries.
Shaykh Abdul-Naser al-Jabri, a Lebanese Sunni scholar and the Secretary-General of the Lebanese Ummah Movement, called for an investigate into the tragic stampede in Mina which led to the deaths of 4,000 Hajj pilgrims last Thursday, and said: “In the past, we suggested to the authorities in charge of the Hajj pilgrimage that Islamic countries should participate in the Hajj and provide security for the pilgrims but unfortunately we have not heard an answer from them in this regard.”
He added that participation in the management of Hajj is necessary and added that it is common in all countries which are affected by disasters that people from all over the world help them. We have seen this in the aftermath of severe earthquakes. “Besides Saudi Arabia’s inability to deal those killed or injured in the stampede incident, they haven’t allowed other countries to investigate the incident either,” he said.
He said that no country can manage the Hajj ceremony alone, so Saudi Arabia must get help from other Islamic countries.
Shaykh al-Jabri pointed out that much larger gatherings than Hajj have been held without incident throughout the world.
The Lebanese Sunni scholar referred to the Holy Quran, wherein God Almighty states: “Cooperate in piety and Godwariness, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression” [5:2] and said Islamic countries’ participation in the hajj pilgrimage is quite natural and represents collaboration among Muslims.
His Eminence stated that Saudi Arabia is responsible for the incident in Mina and added that they cannot deny and reject responsibility for this incident and throwing the blame on the shoulders of the pilgrims is impossible because they were only seeking to perform the Hajj rituals.

Shaykh al-Jabri called for this incident to be examined by Islamic and Arab courts and organizations and stressed that it should not be raised in Western countries because we don’t expect anything else besides evil and the destruction by the West so how can we bring forward an Islamic case to them. “The case should be heard in Islamic and Arab countries and in a strong manner,” he said.
He invited Islamic scholars to support the oppressed countries such as Yemen, Syria, Libya and Iraq and said Islamic countries in the region are responsible for maintaining the blood of Muslims in the region and stated that Arab governments must stand against the arrogant powers in both the East and the West.[5]
Pakistani Senator Calls for Int'l Prosecution of Saudi Arabia
Pakistan People's Party Senator Farhatullah Babar underlined the need for an international prosecution of the Saudi regime for its disrespect for the victims of the Mina tragic incident.
Pakistan People's Party Senator Farhatullah Babar underlined the need for an international prosecution of the Saudi regime for its disrespect for the victims of the Mina tragic incident.
"The insult to the dead Hajj pilgrims of Mina tragedy should be dealt with at an international level," Senator Babar said on Wednesday.
He reiterated that investigations into the cause of the Mina incident are very crucial and the Saudi regime should be accountable to the Muslim countries about it.
A stampede during one of the last rituals of the Hajj season on September 24 killed at least 4,173 people and left thousands wounded.
The stampede occurred during the ritual known as "stoning the devil" in the tent city of Mina, about two miles from Mecca.
Pakistan is among those nations who have lost the largest number of nationals in the stampede, and Islamabad's leniency towards Saudi Arabia over the Mina crush has angered the Pakistani people.
Reports from Pakistani media and journalists on September 28 revealed that the country's intelligence body, ISI, has issued serious warnings to all the country's media outlets to avoid conducting interviews with pilgrims and their families about the lethal incidents in Mecca this year or releasing figures of those who have lost their lives or gone missing in the stampede.
A senior Pakistani religious leader on September 28 called on Islamabad to declare the real number of the Hajj pilgrims killed during the Hajj stampede in Mina.
"The secrecy concerning the true number of victims of Mina incident not only does not solve anything, but is also make the situation more complicated; therefore the Pakistani government should announce the exact number of Pakistani pilgrims killed in Hajj rituals in Mina," Sahibzada Abu-al-Khair Muhammad Zubair, President of Pakistan's Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan (JUP), said.
A Pakistani citizen has also filed a complaint against the Islamabad government for not declaring true figures of the Pakistani nationals who have died or gone missing in the Thursday stampede in Mina near Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
Mahmoud Akhtar Naghavi has sued 14 senior Pakistani officials, including prime minister and religious affairs minister, for not providing accurate information on the number of the Pakistanis killed in Mina, the Urdu-language Express newspaper reported on September 28.
"The (Pakistani) government is duty-bound to publish a list of the names and the real number of the victims and the missing Hajj pilgrims in order to remove concerns among the families of the pilgrims," the daily quoted Naghavi as saying.
Muhammad Zubair voiced regret over the prevailing situation in Mecca, and said, "This is very regretting that the Hajj pilgrims lost their lives for the presence of a Saudi royal family member; if this is true. The Saudi royal family is assassin of the Hajj pilgrims."
Sources revealed on September 24 that the convoy of Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud caused panic among millions of pilgrims and started the stampede.
"The large convoy of Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, the King's son and deputy crown prince, that was escorted by over 350 security forces, including 200 army men and 150 policemen, sped up the road to go through the pilgrims that were moving towards the site of the 'Stoning the Devil' ritual, causing panic among millions of pilgrims who were on the move from the opposite direction and caused the stampede," several Arab papers, including the Arabic language al-Dyar newspaper, disclosed on September 24.
"That's why the ruler of Mecca has distanced himself from the case, stressing that the issue should be studied and decided by the King," it added.
Eye witnesses said earlier that the Saudi police and security forces had closed two of the few roads to the stone column that were to be used by millions of pilgrims to do the 'Stoning the Devil' ritual on September 24.
Saeed Ohadi, the head of Iran's Hajj organization, accused Saudi Arabia of safety errors and mismanagement.
He said for "unknown reasons" the paths had been closed off near the scene of the symbolic stoning of the devil ritual where the accident later took place.
"This caused this tragic incident," he told the Iranian state television.
Eyewitness accounts said that even after incident the Saudi security and military forces closed all paths leading to the scene and the bodies of pilgrims have piled up on each other.[6]
Political motives behind Hajj stampede: Pundit
Press TV has interviewed Mauri Saalakhan, director of the Peace THRU Justice Foundation from New York, and Lawrence J. Korb, with the Center for American Progress from Washington, to discuss Saudi Arabia’s mismanagement during this year’s Hajj pilgrimage, which left thousands dead and wounded in Mina crush.
Saalakhan believes that there are some political motives behind this year’s Hajj tragedy, linking the September 24 incident to the ongoing developments in the Middle East.
He adds the Saudi kingdom introduces itself as the custodian of the holy mosques, which means the Saudis are expected to shoulder responsibility of the deadly incidents during the Hajj pilgrimages and meet the legitimate demands of Muslim countries in this respect.
The Saudis should allow a joint commission of international Muslim organizations to discover the realities and causes of the stampede incident in Mina, he notes.
Referring to the fatal incident of Hajj pilgrimage in 1987, when he himself performed the Islamic rite and witnessed misbehavior of the Saudi security forces toward Muslim pilgrims, the activist adds that the Saudi authorities have a long history of blaming pilgrims for the incidents happening in the Hajj rituals.
Korb, for his part, believes there is a need for an impartial investigation into deadly tragedies during the Hajj pilgrimage, as it is not the first time that pilgrims die during the most important Islamic ritual.
He proposes that the Saudis could limit the quota of every Muslim nation to dispatch fewer pilgrims to Hajj in order to prevent such an incident in the future.
Saudi Arabia deployed thousands of security forces and medical staff for emergency situation, but such a crush in Mina proves that there were some people who did not carry out the policies they were supposed to, he mentions. [7]
Pope expresses solidarity with Muslims after Mina tragedy
 While in New York, Pope Francis expressed solidarity with Muslims after the devastating stampede in Saudi Arabia.
"I want to express the closeness of the church in the face of the tragedy people suffered in Mecca," said the pontiff at the start of his homily during prayers at St Patrick's Cathedral.
"In this moment of prayer, I unite and join in prayer with our almighty God and merciful father," he added.
UN chief ‘deeply saddened’ at deaths in wake of stampede
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed deep sadness to learn of the death of more than 4000Hajj pilgrims, as well as of injuries to many others caused by a deadly incident in Mina Valley, near Mecca, in Saudi Arabia.
“This tragic incident is all the more distressing as it took place on the first day of the Holy Eid Al-Adha marking the end of the annual Hajj season, said the UN chief in a statement released by his spokesperson in New York.
In the statement, the Secretary-General extends his sincere condolences to the families of the victims and expresses his sympathies to all the Governments concerned.
Jack Straw condoles Iran on Hajj tragedy victims
Former British Foreign Secretary and former head of Iran-UK parliamentary friendship group, Jack Straw, in a message condoled Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Iranian nation and the bereaved families of the September 24 Hajj tragedy victims on the passing away of their beloved ones.
The message, addressed to Iran's Charge D'Affaires, Mohammad-Hassan Habibollah Zadeh, read that he was very sorry over loss of all the people in Mina catastrophe.
He said it was a heinous event for all Iranians, including women and children.
Addressing Habibollah Zadeh, Straw added that he should personally condole on loss of Foreign Ministry officials.[8]
[1]Source: IRNA
[2]Source :Tasnim
[3]Source: PressTV
[5]Source :Rasa
[6]Source :FNA
[7]Source: PressTV
[8]Source :IRNA