Deaths Near Mecca Reflect Dangers of Rising Crowds During Hajj
Stampede that killed hundreds in Saudi Arabia came during Muslim pilgrims’ ‘Stoning the Devil’ ritual.
More than 700 people were crushed to death Thursday in a stampede just outside Mecca during the Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia that has been attended by millions of faithful over the centuries.
The incident in Mina, Saudi Arabia, was the latest in a series of tragedies that have marred the ritual journey to Islam’s holiest city, a journey that occasionally has turned deadly—typically because of the vast numbers of people who crowd into Mecca and nearby cities.
This year, believers were trampled to death during the last major ritual that pilgrims perform before entering Mecca, a city of more than 1.3 million people that is the birthplace of the prophet Muhammad. The tragedy occurred during the ceremonial