Over 300 Pakistanis still missing after Mina stampede
MINA: Over 300 Pakistanis are still missing following the stampede in Mina that martyred 769 pilgrims on Thursday – the worst disaster to strike the annual Hajj pilgrimage in 25 years.
The number of Pakistanis martyred in the stampede during Hajj at Mina near the holy city of Makkah has reached 18, however unconfirmed reports suggest the number is higher at 23. Meanwhile a British news outlet has claimed the number of Pakistanis martyred in the stampede is ten times higher at 236, however Pakistani officials have denied this claim.
Among the martyrs confirmed on Saturday was a six-year-old Samreen Bibi Haji Muhammad, a resident of Multan, who had traveled with her family to Makkah to perform the holy Hajj pilgrimage. Samreen's father worked as a taxi-driver in Makkah.
Another casualty confirmed today was the martyrdom of Tauseef Iftikhar from Rahim Yar Khan. Iftikhar's family has confirmed his death and, that he was laid to rest in Saudi Arabia.
The Foreign Office on Saturday issued a list of martyrs, which included, Hafsa Shoaib, Zareen Nasim, Syeda Narjis Shahnaz, Bibi Zainab, Mahmood Arshad, Rasheedan Bibi, Zahid Gul, Dr. Ameer Ali Lashari and Makhdoomzada Syed Asad Murtaza Gillani, who was the nephew of former Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani.
At least 863 others were injured in the stampede caused by two large groups of pilgrims arriving together at a crossroads on their way to performing the "stoning the devil" ritual at Jamarat.
Saudi authorities have released the photos of 500 martyrs of the tragedy and forwarded them to the concerned missions of the countries that the pilgrims belonged to.
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