Mecca stampede: at least 345 dead

Via AP:

Thousands of Muslim pilgrims rushing to complete a symbolic stoning ritual during the hajj tripped over luggage Thursday, causing a crush in which at least 345 people were killed, the Interior Ministry said.

The stampede occurred as tens of thousands of pilgrims headed toward al-Jamarat, a series of three pillars representing the devil that the faithful pelt with stones to purge themselves of sin.

Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki said 345 people were killed. Dr. Abbasi, a Red Crecent doctor at the scene, put the number of injured at 1,000.

Read more on previous hajj disasters here.

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