Mina Stampede: Restrictions in Timing for Hajj Pilgrims this Year

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Pakistan
Wednesday, 24 August 2016


Mina Incident that left more than 3000 people dead during last year's Haj is said to be tightly controlled during next month's pilgrimage, Saudi newspapers reported on Wednesday.

The period during which pilgrims can perform the Jamarat ritual (stoning ritual) will be reduced by 12 hours, the Saudi Gazette and Arab News said.

The symbolic stoning of the devil will be performed as usual over three days beginning September 11 at Mina, about five kilometers east of Makkah's Grand Mosque.

But this year there will be no stoning allowed from 6:00 to 10:30 am on the first day, from 2:00 to 6:00 pm on the second day and from 10:30 am to 2:00 pm on the final day, the Haj ministry said.

He did not elaborate on how the new time restrictions would reduce the potential for overcrowding. The stampede was the worst disaster in Haj history.

Pilgrims blamed the stampede on police road closures and poor management of the flow of hundreds of thousands of pilgrims in searing temperatures.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the interior minister who also chairs the Haj committee, ordered a probe immediately after the disaster but there has been no word on its findings.

However, officials have announced a number of safety measures including the revised stoning schedules.

At least 3000 pilgrims died during the stampede on September 24, according to data from foreign officials, some of whom expressed concerns about difficulty in identifying the victims.

Saudi Arabia issued a death toll of 769.

In another crowd control move, pilgrims are not allowed to circumambulate the Holy Kaaba one hour before or after regular prayers at the Grand Mosque when they begin their Haj, Saudi Gazette and Arab News said.

This year's pilgrimage begins on September 9 but hundreds of thousands have already arrived from around the world.

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