New count puts hajj stampede death toll at over 1,100
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New count puts hajj stampede death toll at over 1,100

Final figure could rise as survey covers just 16 of over 180 countries that sent 2 million pilgrims to Saudi Arabia

Saudi emergency personnel stand near bodies of Hajj pilgrims at the site where at least 717 were killed and hundreds wounded in a stampede in Mina, near the city of Mecca, at the annual hajj in Saudi Arabia on September 24, 2015. (STR/AFP)
Saudi emergency personnel stand near bodies of Hajj pilgrims at the site where at least 717 were killed and hundreds wounded in a stampede in Mina, near the city of Mecca, at the annual hajj in Saudi Arabia on September 24, 2015. (STR/AFP)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The number of pilgrims killed in the Saudi hajj disaster near the holy city of Mecca rose on Monday to over 1,100 dead, according to an Associated Press count.

Saudi officials have said their official figure of 769 killed and 934 injured in Mina remains accurate, though an investigation into the Sept. 24 stampede is ongoing.

The total figure could be even larger as the AP survey covered only 16 of the more than 180 countries that sent some 2 million pilgrims to the annual pilgrimage, a pillar of Islamic faith.

Saudi authorities have said the disaster in Mina happened as two waves of pilgrims converged on a narrow road, causing hundreds of people to suffocate or be trampled to death. In previous years, the hajj has drawn more than 3 million pilgrims without any major incidents.

But even before this year’s hajj began, disaster struck Mecca as a construction crane crashed into the Grand Mosque on Sept. 11, killing at least 111 people.

Iranian worshipers chant slogans such as "death to Al-Saud family," a reference to the rulers of the Saudi kingdom, in a reaction to the hajj crush deaths in mid-September 2015, while they listen to the sermons of the Friday prayer in Tehran, Iran, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015. (AP/Vahid Salemi)
Iranian worshipers chant slogans such as “death to Al-Saud family,” a reference to the rulers of the Saudi kingdom, in a reaction to the hajj crush deaths in mid-September 2015, while they listen to the sermons of the Friday prayer in Tehran, Iran, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015. (AP/Vahid Salemi)

The AP count of the dead, which now is at least 1,112, includes countries that have offered formal statements through hajj commissions or in state media broadcasts, saying specifically the deceased were killed in Mina.

Iran had 465 of its pilgrims killed, while Egypt had 146 and Indonesia 100.

Other countries that have given their death tolls are Pakistan with 75; Nigeria 64; Mali 60; India 58; Cameroon 42; Bangladesh 41; Algeria 18; Ethiopia 13; Chad 11; Kenya eight; Senegal five and Morocco and Turkey each with three. Hundreds remain missing.

The deadliest disaster to strike the hajj was in 1990, when a stampede killed 1,426 people at an overcrowded pedestrian tunnel leading to holy sites in Mecca.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.

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