Death toll of Indians in Haj stampede rises to 35

Mina: The death toll of Indian pilgrims in last week's horrific stampede during Haj rose to 35 on Sunday as authorities identified 13 more bodies among the victims of the worst tragedy to hit the annual pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

"Unfortunately, there are six more Indians taking the toll to 35," External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted.
Earlier, seven more Indians were identified among the dead raising last night's death toll from 22 to 29.

The 13 Indian pilgrims who were among the dead, taking the death toll to 35, have been identified by the Haj Consulate in Jeddah as Mansurul Haque (Jharkhand), Anvar Janha (UP), F A Muneer Veetil, Amina Beevi, Abdul Rahiman Asarithodi, P V Kunhimon and Moiuddin Abdul Kader (all from Kerala), Jaibun Nisha (Bihar), Nashima Khatoon (Jharkhand), Mohamed Younus Rahimbhai Mansuri (Gujarat), Bibi Ismail (Gujarat), Mehrunnisha Hanif (Gujarat), Muhammed Yusuf Sikandarmiyan Malik (Gujarat).

The seven from Kerala are: Faaiz Abdul Muneer Veettil, Amina Beevi Mohammed Shafi Musaliar, Abdul Rahiman Asarithodi, Puthu Veettil Kunhimon and Moinuddin Abdul Kader. The dead from Uttar Pradesh was identified as Anvar Janha, and the one from Jharkhand as Mansurul Haque.

On Saturday, the government announced eight more deaths, and said that with more bodies being identified from among the 769 deaths reported in Thursday's stampede, the toll could go up.

On Saturday, two Haj pilgrims from Kerala, and two each from Jharkhand and Gujarat, one each from Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh were reported.

Of the list of 14 dead announced on Friday, nine victims were from Gujarat, while two each belonged to Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu and one was from Maharashtra.

King Salman has ordered the formation of a committee to probe the deadly incident during the five-day pilgrimage in which around two million people from over 180 countries took part. From India, 1.5 lakh pilgrims performed Haj.

Haj is one of the five pillars of Islam that should be performed at least once in a lifetime by every Muslim who is financially and physically capable. The stampede broke out after two massive lines of pilgrims converged on each other from different directions at an intersection close to the five-storey Jamarat Bridge in Mina for symbolic stoning of the devil.

It was the second major accident this year for pilgrims, after a construction crane collapsed on September 11 at Mecca's Grand Mosque, killing over 100 people, including 11 Indians.

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