At least 717 people were killed, and 805 were injured, in a stampede in Mina, in Saudi Arabia, on Thursday during the Islamic commemoration of Jamarat, which is the “stoning of the devil” with pebbles.
The Stoning of the Devil is a re-enactment of a story from the Quran involving the Prophet Ibrahim, which takes place during the hajj.
Some reports say total number of casualties remained unclear people in the stampede that occurred as over three million pilgrims observing this year’s hajj, who spent the night in the plain fields of Muzdalifa, began trooping to the Jamarat as early as 3am local time.
Saudi civil defence authorities confirmed the deaths on Twitter and said two medical centres had been opened to treat the injured.
More than 4,000 emergency workers were sent to the scene, and hundreds of people were taken to four hospitals, the New York Times reported.
The tragedy happened less than two weeks after a large construction crane crashed into the Grand Mosque in Mecca, killing at least 111 people and injuring 394 others.
Six Nigerian pilgrims died in that incident.
It was unclear if Nigerians died in Thursday’s stampede.