"Our consul general Jeddah reports loss of 14 Indian lives in stampede," External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted today.

Thirteen Indians were among over 800 people injured in the tragedy, she said. "The exact number will be known after confirmation by Saudi authorities," she further added.

The second biggest tragedy to hit the annual pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia took place yesterday at 9 AM local time (1130 IST) due to a sudden surge in the number of pilgrims heading to Jamarat for symbolic stoning of the devil by throwing pebbles against three stone walls.

Authorities had yesterday said that four Indians, including a woman and a volunteer, were killed in the stampede which occurred at the intersection of two streets leading to Jamarat, about five kilometres from Makkah.

This is the second worst tragedy to hit the Haj after 1990, when 1,426 pilgrims were killed in a stampede inside a tunnel leading to holy sites. Saudi Arabia has launched a probe into the incident.

 

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