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Egyptian presidency expresses condolences for Mecca stampede victims

The stampede triggered a series of reactions among political parties in Egypt over who should be held responsible for the incident

Ahram Online , Friday 25 Sep 2015
Pilgrims walk on a road in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca September 24, 2015. At least 310 pilgrims were killed on Thursday in a crush at Mina, outside the Muslim holy city of Mecca, where some two million people are performing the annual Haj pilgrimage, Saudi authorities said (Reuters)
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Egypt's presidency expressed its condolences to the families of the victims of Thursday's deadly stampede near Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

The presidency affirmed its solidarity with Saudi Arabia in the face of this "great loss", declaring its appreciation for Saudi "efforts" in managing the hajj season.

At least 717 people, including 14 Egyptian pilgrims, were killed and 863 were injured in the incident.

Al-Azhar scholar Osama Al-Azhary expressed his condolences over the "unfortunate" incident in a statement.

Al-Azhary, who is also a member of the presidency's advisory committee, praised Saudi Arabia's decision to form a committee to investigate the circumstances of the stampede in order to prevent its reoccurrence.

The stampede triggered a series of reactions among political parties in Egypt regarding who should be held responsible for the incident.

El-Sayed El-Badawy, leader of liberal Wafd Party, claimed the accident was the result of "inaction, neglect, and mismanagement" by Saudi authorities. He did, however, say that he recognises Saudi Arabia's "great efforts" in managing hajj services.

The Salafist Nour Party condemned what it described as the "exploitation" of the incident by some countries, in what is likely a response to comments made by Iran regarding the incident.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blamed the incident on "improper measures" and "mismanagement" by Saudi authorities, whom he said "must accept the huge responsibility for this catastrophe".

At least 717 people were killed and 863 were injured in the incident, Saudi Arabia's Civil Defence Service said.

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