365 Iranian pilgrims still missing in Saudi Arabia

Mecca, Sept 25, IRNA – Supreme Leader's representative for Hajj affairs and superintendent of Iranian Hajj pilgrims said here on Friday that out of 395 missing Iranian pilgrims in aftermath of deadly Mina stampede disaster only 30 have been found, while 365 are still missing.

Hojjatoleslam Seyyed Ali Qaziasgar said that the Iranian officials still have no trace of those 365 people, stressing that announcing the missing pilgrims' statistics is by no means equal to declaring that they, too, have died.
'I have asked Mr. (Saeid) Owhadi, the head of the (Iranian) Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization (HPO) to announce the names of the missing (Iranian) pilgrims in the HPO website so that as soon as we will obtain any information about one of them we will immediately be able to inform the people,' he added.
Qaziasgar said that the reason for inaccurate statistics of the HPO about the final status of the Iranian pilgrims is that as of Thursday afternoon the Saudi officials have blacked the path for Iranian officials' access to the injured and demised pilgrims the and statistics about their status.
'But it has been arranged that after the last Friday daily prayer (Eshaa) some representatives of the Iranians will be granted access to the injured victims' hospitals and provided the required information to update their statistics,' he said.
'The catastrophe is quite grave and its main cause is both the negligence of the concerned Saudi officials and their weak management of the Hajj pilgrims' affairs,' said the superintendent of the Iranian Hajj pilgrims.
Hojjatoleslam Qaziasgar said that if the Saudi officials had at least not blocked the path of the Hajj pilgrims from Arafat Desert to Mina District near Mecca for sure a catastrophe with such great dimensions and sad aftermaths would have never occurred.
131 Iranian pilgrims have thus far been declared dead in Thursday Mina disaster, 85 of them are injured in Saudi hospitals and Iranian healthcare centers in Mecca, and 365 of them are sorrowfully still missing.
The relatives of the most disastrous fatal even in the history of Hajj pilgrimage are still shocked with hearts filled with deep sorrow both in Saudi Arabia in Iranian pilgrims' camps and back home in Iran, awaiting justice to be observed for the creators of this catastrophe for the Islamic world.
Over 2000 pilgrims of God's House in Mecca – God's special guests – were martyred in Mina on Thursday and about as many have got wounded, while scores of Muslims from various countries are still missing in Saudi Arabia.
Many world experts, political and religious officials believe mismanagement was the real cause for the various incidents in this year's Hajj pilgrimage, including the fall of a huge crane, a fire disaster in a hotel, a fire which spread in the camp of the Egyptian pilgrims in Mina desert, and above all, Mina stampede, and God forbid, the fatal events which might easily occur before the safe return home of various Muslim nations from the Hajj-pilgrimage-turned-into-quagmire in Saudi Arabia this year.
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