Saudi security plan to be revised to prevent stampede

Saudi Arabia on Friday announced a revision of the Hajj security plan for the next season. It comes just days after the most deadly stampede in 25 years, which left over 700 pilgrims dead.

According to local press, one of the main causes behind the incident was down to pilgrims’ failure to adhere to crowd control rules as they carrired out the ritual of ‘stoning the devil’.

Over 700 were killed and more than 800 injured in the stampede which occurred in the Mina area of Mecca on Thursday morning.

The Saudi authority has yet to announce the nationalities of the deceased and those injured.

At a press conference Thursday, Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki told reporters that the street on which the stampede took place “witnessed an unprecedented high number of pilgrims” compared to previous years.

Turki said the investigation would look into what caused an unusual density of pilgrims to congregate at the location of the disaster.

Although the condolences were made by countries all over the world, Iran was outraged by the incident, urging an quick investigation.

Iran also demanded for an international supervision of Hajj, which has been rejected by the Saudi authorities.

Saudi Arabia considered itself as the protector and the geographic center of Islam, saying it has never asked for financial help from other Islamic states although millions of U.S. dollars are spent each year on the event.

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