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Saudi Hajj Stampede - How it All Happened

Over 700 people have been crushed to death in Saudi Arabia during the hajj pilgrimage in the worst accident the area has seen in the quarter of a century.


Pilgrims travel to Mina, a large valley about 5km (3 miles) from Mecca, during the Hajj to throw seven stones at pillars called Jamarat, which represents the devil.

The pillars stand at three spots where Satan is believed to have tempted the Prophet Abraham.

How it happened

According to Tchima Illa Issoufou, who was at the scene"people were going towards the direction of throwing the stones while others were coming from the opposite direction. Then it became chaotic and suddenly people started going down.

"There were Nigerians, Nigeriens, Chadians and Senegalese among other nationals. People were just climbing on top of others in order to move to a safer place and that's how some people died.

"People were chanting Allah's name while others were crying, including children and infants. People fell on the ground seeking help but there was no-one to give them a helping hand. Everybody seemed to be on their own.

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