On Thursday, at least 717 people were killed and over 860 injured in a crash that occurred near Mecca as hundreds of thousands of pilgrims gathered to celebrate the Muslim religious holiday of Eid-ul-Adha.
ANKARA — The Saudi authorities are responsible for the stampede that killed hundreds of worshipers in the Mina Valley near Mecca, Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputy Chairman Mehmet Ali Sahin said Friday.
“This is about insufficient security measures by Saudi authorities. These measures should be taken not by the pilgrims, but by the organizers. People arrive from different countries, they could be confused by the schedule, by the route,” Sahin told journalists.
He added that the fatalities were a result of the local authorities’ negligence and called on Islamic states to jointly provide security in Mecca during Muslim holidays.
The valley of Mina is the site of a traditional “stoning-of-the-devil” ritual, performed as part of the annual Haj pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia. It is considered a dangerous event due to the enormous crowds that often produce bottlenecks around the holy site.