NewsCode : 187967 | Date: 9/27/2015 | Time: 11:33 AM | Service: Politics - Politics

Leader says Saudi leaders must apologize for deadly Hajj incident

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the Saudi rulers should apologize for the recent deadly incident that killed hundreds of pilgrims during Hajj rituals instead of dodging their responsibility.

Addressing a group of clerics on Sunday, Ayatollah Khamenei said, “The Muslim world has many questions in this regard and Saudi rulers, instead of shunning [their responsibility] must accept their responsibility in this grave incident by apologizing to the Muslim Ummah and bereft families.”

Referring to the bitter incident in Mina, which turned Eid al-Adha into a mourning occasion for the Muslim Ummah, the Leader added, “One cannot consider himself free from this sorrow [even] for a single moment and this sorrow has been weighing on the hearts of us and all Muslims during these past few days.” 

The Leader described Saudi rulers’ effort to dodge their responsibility in this catastrophe as incorrect and an ineffective measure, saying, “The Muslim world has many questions and the death of more than 1,000 people in this incident is no small matter. Therefore, the world of Islam should find a solution for this problem.”

Emphasizing that this incident will not be forgotten and will be seriously followed by Muslim nations, Ayatollah Khamenei  said, “Instead of projection and incriminating this or that, Saudis must accept their responsibility and apologize to the Muslim Ummah and bereft families.”

In this picture taken on September 24, 2014, bodies of people, who were crushed in Mina, Saudi Arabia, during the annual Hajj pilgrimage, are seen among belongings and empty water bottles. ©AP

On September 24, a fatal human crush broke out in Mina, outside the holy city of Mecca, as a large crowd of pilgrims were on their way to participate in the symbolic stoning of Satan, a Hajj ritual.

Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry has put the death toll from the incident at nearly 770. However, Head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization Saeed Ohadi says the disaster has killed around 2,000 pilgrims.

Hamid Mohammadi, the deputy head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization, said on Sunday that 144 Iranian pilgrims have so far been confirmed dead. He added that some 82 Iranians have been wounded in the crush, while 323 others remain missing.