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Iran Urges Saudi Arabia To Find Over 300 Missing Iranians In Hajj Stampede

Source: RFE/RL

Iran has urged Saudi Arabia to find 344 of its citizens who are still unaccounted for in the aftermath of the deadly stampede at the hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia that killed 717 people on September 24. Some 136 Iranians were killed and 102 injured, according to Said Ohadi, head of Iran's hajj organization.

front page of Iranian daily Roozan

Ohadi was quoted on state television as saying that 344 Iranians are still missing in Mina, near the Saudi city of Mecca where the stampede happened.

Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said that the list of missing Iranians has been passed on to the Saudi authorities.

Culture Minister Ali Janati will head a delegation to Mina to oversee the repatriation of those killed and follow up on the cases of those still missing and injured.

Iranian leaders have been critical of Saudi officials and blamed their mismanagement of the massive crowds for the deaths.

The religious pilgrimage entered its final day on September 26.

Iran Wants Role In Hajj Stampede Investigation

Iran has demanded that it and the other affected countries be represented in the Saudi investigation into the hajj stampede that killed 717 pilgrims, including 131 Iranians on September 24.

The evidence of incompetence of the Saudi
front page of Iranian daily Jame Jam

"The Saudi government is responsible and must respond," said first Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri on September 25 after an extraordinary session of the cabinet.

"There is no question about the poor management" of the pilgrimage and the "inexperience of security personnel" on the ground at the time, he said.

Iran's state news agency IRNA quoted an official as saying that 365 Iranians are still unnacounted for.

Tehran summoned Riyadh's charge d'affaires to ask for help in repatriating the bodies of Iranian victims.

Based on reporting by AFP and IRNA

Copyright (c) 2015 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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