19,600 Pilgrims Return from Hajj vide PIA, Loved ones Still looking for Missing Relatives
Pakistan International Airways has brought back 19, 600 Hajj pilgrims to Pakistan, Radio Pakistan reported Saturday.
The national flag carrier has brought back the Hajj pilgrims by 62 flights thus far, with regular flights scheduled to continue to bring back pilgrims following the Hajj stampede at Mina.
At least 97 Pakistani pilgrims have so far been reported dead in the Mina stampede during Hajj, which is said to be the deadliest in history.
According to the list uploaded on the ministry’s website, of the 76 pilgrims, deaths of 29 were verified by Saudi authorities, whereas the passing away of the remaining 47 were reported by relatives and eyewitnesses.
The Associated Press (AP) count of the dead includes totals from 17 of the over 180 countries that sent pilgrims to this year's hajj. Iran said it had 465 pilgrims killed, while Egypt had 148 and Indonesia 120.
Others include Pakistan with 97; India 81; Mali 70; Nigeria 64; Bangladesh 63; Cameroon 42; Ethiopia 31; Morocco 27; Algeria 25; Ghana 12; Chad 11; Kenya eight; Senegal five and Turkey with three. Hundreds of pilgrims still remain missing, according to these countries.
This brings a total of 1272 already par countries report and still counting.
Whereas another contrdicting report states; diplomats in Indonesia, Pakistan and India have said Saudi officials gave them some 1,100 photographs of dead from the Mina disaster.
The crush and stampede was the second disaster to strike Saudi Arabia around the hajj this year.
On September 11, a construction crane crashed into Mecca's Grand Mosque, killing at least 111 people.
The deadliest disaster to strike the hajj was in 1990, when a stampede killed 1,426 people at an overcrowded pedestrian tunnel leading to holy sites in Mecca.
With 19,600 safely back in Pakistan, the operation is scheduled to continue till October 28.
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