Iran’s Health Minister in Mecca to Address Pilgrims’ Problems after Mina Tragedy

Iran’s Health Minister in Mecca to Address Pilgrims’ Problems after Mina Tragedy
Tue Sep 29, 2015 14:02:07

Iranian Health Minister Seyed Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi has arrived in the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia to deal with the problems facing Iranian Hajj pilgrims and help determine the fates of missing nationals after deadly crush in Mina, near Mecca.

Iran’s Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi said that Qazizadeh Hashemi arrived in Mecca this morning, adding that a high-ranking delegation accompanies the health minister, including Head of Iran's Red Crescent Society (IRCS) Amir Mohsen Ziaei and Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular, Parliamentary and Expatriates' Affairs Hassan Qashqavi.

The delegation has set three priorities, including efforts to determine the fate of Iranian pilgrims who went missing after the Mina tragedy, relieve survivals and evaluate the treatment process of the injured nationals.

The move came as some media sources announced that Saudi Arabia plans mass burial of the victims of the deadly crush in Mina and refuses to return them to their original countries.

In response, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian said Tehran is strongly opposed to the move and will not allow the Saudi government to bury the Iranian nationals in the Arab country.

About 2000 pilgrims were killed in the Thursday crush in Mina when performing religious rites. With the death toll rising, many pilgrims are still unaccounted for in the incident that marked the worst Hajj disaster in 25 years.

So far, 228 Iranian pilgrims have been pronounced dead in the disaster. This is while, 248 Iranians have gone missing.

The incident came nearly two weeks after tens of Hajj pilgrims were killed in another tragic incident in Mecca.

On September 11, a massive construction crane crashed into Mecca’s Grand Mosque in stormy weather, killing at least 107 people, including 11 Iranians, and injuring 201 others.

Hajj, the world’s largest annual gathering of people, has already witnessed numerous deadly crushes, fires and riots in the past.

Saudi authorities have come under fire for their inability to ensure the safety of hundreds of thousands of pilgrims who converge on Mecca every year; Tasnim reported.

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