Thursday's stampede second worst tragedy at Haj

Updated 26 September 2015
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Thursday's stampede second worst tragedy at Haj

MAKKAH: The deadly stampede at the Haj in Mina on Thursday has become the second worst in a number of tragedies to strike the pilgrimage, surpassed only by a tunnel stampede 25 years ago.
As of the latest count by the Directorate for Civil Defense, the death toll in Thursday’s stampede has jumped to 717 and 865 more were injured, some critically.
The worst ever was in July 2, 1990, when 1,426 pilgrims, mainly from Asia, died as they stampeded in a tunnel at Mina after a ventilation system failure.

Third worst was in July 31, 1987, when Saudi security forces suppressed rampaging Iranian pilgrims. More than 400 people, including 275 Iranians were killed, according to an official toll.

Coming in fourth was another stampede on January 12, 2006, killing 364 pilgrims during the stoning ritual in Mina. Six days before that, 76 people died when a hotel collapsed in downtown Makkah.
In an uncanny similarity, this year’s stampede was also preceded by another tragedy in Makkah. A total of 111 and more than 400 people, including foreign pilgrims, were killed when a crane collapsed on the circumambulation area of the Grand Mosque amid strong winds and heavy rain on September 11.
The fifth worst was on April 15 when a fire caused by a gas stove ripped through a camp housing pilgrims at Mina, killing 343 and injuring around 1,500.

Below is a timeline compiled by Agence France Presse (AFP) of significant incidents during the annual event, which draws around two million Muslim faithful from around the world.

• 2015
September 24: A stampede during the “stoning of the devil” ritual in Mina leaves at least 717 pilgrims dead and over 860 injured.
September 11: 109 people are killed and hundreds injured, including many foreigners, when a crane collapses on Makkah’s Grand Mosque after strong winds and heavy rain.

• 2006
January 6: 76 people die when a hotel collapses in the city center.
January 12: 364 pilgrims are killed in a stampede during the stoning ritual in Mina. The ritual involves Haj participants throwing pebbles at three headstones, symbolizing their rejection of Satan.

• 2005
January 22: Three pilgrims are crushed to death in a stampede at the stoning ceremony in Mina.

• 2004
February 1: 251 people are killed in a stampede at Mina, also at the stoning of the devil.

• 2003
February 11: 14 faithful, including six women, die on the first day of the stoning ritual.

• 2001
March 5: 35 pilgrims, including 23 women, die at the ritual in Mina.

• 1998
April 9: More than 118 people are killed and 180 injured in a stampede at Mina.

• 1997
April 15: A fire caused by a gas stove rips through a camp housing pilgrims at Mina, killing 343 and injuring around 1,500.

• 1995
May 7: Three people die and 99 are injured when a fire breaks out at the Mina camp.

• 1994
May 24: 270 people are killed in a stampede during the stoning, an incident authorities attribute to “record numbers” of pilgrims at the site.

• 1990
July 2: A huge stampede in a tunnel at Mina after a failure in its ventilation system kills 1,426 pilgrims, mainly from Asia.

• 1989
July 10: A twin attack on the outside of the Grand Mosque kills one and wounds 16. Sixteen Kuwaiti Shiites are found guilty of the crime and executed weeks later.

• 1987
July 31: Saudi security forces suppress an unauthorized protest held by Iranian pilgrims. More than 400 people, including 275 Iranians are killed, according to an official toll.

• 1979
November 20: Hundreds of gunmen opposed to the Saudi government barricade themselves inside the Grand Mosque, taking dozens of pilgrims hostage. The official toll of the assault and subsequent fighting is 153 people dead and 560 wounded.

• 1975
December: A huge fire started by a gas cannister exploding in a pilgrim camp close to Makkah kills 200 people.

 

 


Saudi Shoura Council urges promotion of culture of productivity in families

The Shoura Council holds its first ordinary session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 21 November 2018
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Saudi Shoura Council urges promotion of culture of productivity in families

  • The council encouraged the Family Affairs Council to build partnerships with the nonprofit sector to implement its initiatives

The Shoura Council called upon the Family Affairs Council on Tuesday to build and promote the family’s culture of productivity and self-reliance as one of its strategic pillars, and accord top priority to preparing a draft strategy for the family in coordination with the relevant authorities.

The council adopted this resolution during its first ordinary session of the third year of the seventh session, held under the chairmanship of Shoura Council Speaker Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Sheikh.

The council encouraged the Family Affairs Council to build partnerships with the nonprofit sector to implement its initiatives, and formulate a scientific description of the characteristics to be instilled in the Saudi family and the enabling supportive environment. 

Assistant Speaker of Shoura Council Yahya Al-Samaan said the council has asked the Public Education Evaluation Commission to focus on leveraging national expertise and to reduce reliance on foreign expertise.

Al-Samaan pointed out that the council made its decision after listening to the views of the members of the Education and Scientific Research Committee on the report submitted by the Public Education Evaluation Commission for the current fiscal year.

On Monday, King Salman inaugurated the third year of the Shoura Council’s seventh session in which he highlighted the Kingdom’s priorities for the coming year and defined the contours of its domestic and foreign policies.

The king pledged to continue the Kingdom’s fight against extremism and all forms of terrorism. He also vowed to support the system of social services and sustainable growth for citizens. 

The speech focused on issues such as the war in Yemen, the Palestinian issue, stability in the oil market, countering Iranian interference in the region and job creation for Saudis.  “The Kingdom will maintain its effort to resolve regional crises,” the king said.

Al-Sheikh noted the council’s pride in the wise leadership’s efforts to unify Arab ranks and promote Islamic solidarity to achieve security and peace in the region and in the world.