Fear Bags Nigerian Pilgrims As Hundreds Die In Hajj Stampede — Mecca

There is fear and panic by Nigerian Muslims at home and in Mecca following a stampede which has claimed over 700 lives.

More than 800 others have sustained varying degrees of injuries in Thursday morning's stampede in Mecca.

For now no Nigerian pilgrim has been identified as part of the victims of the stampede but there are fears some Nigerians could be involved.

Chairman of the Hajj Board, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko Abdul Rauf told Joy News the situation is worrying.

"There is absolute fear and panic because when we went to the jamarat we were all expected back to our camps. But the people who went differently, some of them haven't come and there are speculations there is a problem..."

He said they have received official information from the Saudi people that no Nigerian is involved in the stampede but he added they cannot still account for some Nigerians.

He said some Nigerian pilgrims get missing from time to time but are found and brought back to the camp. Whilst still praying for their return, he will not however rule out the possibility of Nigerian deaths.

Two million pilgrims are taking part in this year's Hajj. Thursday's stampede is the deadliest incident to occur during the Hajj in 25 years.

Preparations for the Hajj were marred when a crane collapsed at Mecca's Grand Mosque this month, killing more than 109 people.
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