Mecca stampede
A Muslim pilgrim prays on Mount Mercy on the plains of Arafat during the annual Haj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Mecca.Reuters File

Over 700 people were killed and nearly 900 injured in a deadly stampede near Mecca on Thursday morning as the pilgrims rushed to Mina to perform the "stoning of the devil" ritual.

The injured and the dead are of different nationalities, the Saudi civil defence has said without giving much information.

A BBC report noted that 90 Iranians were among the dead, later reports but claimed that 122 Iranian Haj pilgrims were killed and 60 injured. Iranian authorities have now blamed the incident on Saudi "mismanagement."

The head of Central Hajj Committee and governor of Makkah Prince Khaled al-Faisal has blamed the stampede on "some pilgrims from African nationalities", according to Saudi-owned Al Arabiya channel. Prince Faisal later also ordered an investigation into the incident.

Pilgrims from Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Senegal are also among the casualties.

There are over 2 million Muslims from across the world, who have gathered in Saudi Arabia's Makkah province for the annual Haj pilgrimage.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday (25 September) informed that 14 Indians were injured and 13 hospitalised.

A local report from Kerala confirmed that one person, identified as Mohammad--a resident of Ernakulam district--was killed and another Indian, Sakeeb--a resident of Kottayam--was injured.

As per a report from Pakistan, six of its nationals including two women were among those killed in Mina.  Reports have claimed that three Indonesian and one Turkish national were among the dead. Reports from Sudan claimd that one of its national was killed and two were injured.

Initial reports had claimed that 18 Turkish nationals were missing following the stampede in Mina.

The Saudi authorities have blamed the stampede on "unauthorised movement" of a pilgrim group.

Despite the tragedy, on Thursday around 1.8 million Muslims performed the jamarat ritual of 'stoning the devil'.

Death toll so far as per nationalities (Available figures)

Nationality No. of Dead Injured
Iranians  122 60
Indians 14 13
Turkish 1 NA
Indonesians 3 1
Pakistani 6 NA
Filipino 1 NA
Sudanese 1 2
Egyptian NA 30

(The story is still developing, more details awaited)

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