Iran nearly doubles its death toll from hajj stampede to 464

01/Oct/2015   //    Viewers:423    //    Likes:    //    Shares:    //    Comments:


STR, AFP | Bodies lie on the ground at the site where hundreds of people were killed in a stampede near the holy city of Mecca at the annual hajj in Saudi Arabia on September 24, 2015

Iran on Thursday nearly doubled its death toll from last week's hajj stampede to 464, saying there was no more hope of finding missing pilgrims.

"Seven days after this tragic accident... the status of all (pilgrims) injured has been completely cleared and reported," Iran's hajj organisation said in a statement carried by state television.

Around 240 Iranians were previously declared dead after last Thursday's crush near Mecca, with more than 200 classified as missing.

An Iranian red crescent official said on Thursday that those missing were all likely to have died.

"We are completely disappointed from finding unknown and missing Iranians," said Ali Marashi, the head of hajj red crescent medical centre, state media reported.

Saudi and Iranian health ministers agreed after days of fierce debate to repatriate Iranian pilgrims killed in the stampede.

Iran's IRNA news agency quoted Iranian Health Minister Hassan Hashemi as saying that he and his Saudi counterpart Khaled al-Falih had struck a deal aimed at "speeding up the process, as the victims' families are waiting" back at home.

"Iran would be the first country to receive bodies and repatriate them," Hashemi said.

Those unidentified bodies who are clearly Iranian would be repatriated first and identified at home, he added

(DailyGlobWatch with AFP)

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