The numbers rise

Middle East Eye says it has evidence that the death toll from the Hajj disaster is much higher than the Saudis have said.

We have seen evidence suggesting that at least 2,432 people were killed on 24 September when pilgrims were crushed to death at a crossroads in Mina, inside Mecca and not far from the holy city.

Photos displayed at the Muaism Medical Emergency Centre in Mina, where people are being permitted to search for missing relatives until 30 October, appear to reveal a numbering system of those killed.

A Saudi source travelled to Mina on 30 September and spent four days visiting the centre, where he covertly took photos of what he found and sent them to Middle East Eye, requesting anonymity for fear of being arrested.

The bodies are numbered.

Photographs seen by Middle East Eye show a row of bodies laid out in the morgue, each of which has been attributed an ascending serial number.

The source sent Middle East Eye more than 50 photos of the dead, demonstrating the sequential numbers rising.

And there are more from hospitals who haven’t been counted yet.

This would bring the death toll to at least a potential 2,432 people, which would make it easily the worst disaster ever to hit the annual pilgrimage, surpassing a stampede in 1990 that saw 1,426 pilgrims killed.

The source said that they believed the toll to be significantly more than the potential 2,534, claiming that a large number of people had been transferred to hospitals in the city of Taif, where a list of the dead has not yet been released.


It’s horrific.

And it’s the usual problem with “revealed” religions. The hajj was workable at the time it was started, when people couldn’t travel far and there weren’t huge numbers of people anyway. Now we live in a world of 7.5 billion people, perhaps a billion or more of them Muslims, and the technological ability to go to Mecca. The hajj is a “requirement” for people able to go. Result? Far too many people in one place, and they crush one another. Not very merciful.

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