Seychelles President sympathizes with Saudi Arabia following stampede that caused over 700 deaths at the Hajj pilgrimage
Seychelles President James Michel. (Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Seychelles President James Michel has sent a message of condolences to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, following the death of over 700 people in a stampede at the annual Hajj, on Thursday.
The incident occured in Mina, about five kilometres from the city of Mecca, as Muslims around the world were marking Eid al-Adha.
"The Government and the people of Seychelles pray for souls of those who perished in this most tragic accident and equally hope that the hearts of the bereaved families find solace especially in this time of holy pilgrimage,” said Michel in a statement issued by the Seychelles Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Transport this afternoon.
“We are also hopeful for a speedy recovery for all those injured.”
It is not clear what caused the stampede, which according to latest figures have caused at least 717 deaths and left over 800 people injured. The Saudi authorities are still counting the dead who came from different countries.
According to an article published by the BBC, the Saudi King has ordered a safety review for the Hajj pilgrimage, which every capable Muslim must undertake at least once in a lifetime, saying there was a need "to improve the level of organisation and management of movement" of pilgrims.
The tragedy has been described as one of the worst to hit the annual pilgrimage in recent years, which according to an article by the AFP has been largely incident-free over the last decade “following safety improvements.”
Thursday’s incident comes nearly two weeks after 109 people were killed when a construction crane collapsed at Mecca's Grand Mosque, during preparations for the Hajj pilgrimage.