Mina Hajj Tragedy, September 24, 2015
On September 24, 2015, hundreds of pilgrims were killed in an apparent stampede in the Saudi Arabian city of Mina, next to Mecca, during the annual Hajj (pilgrimage, required as a tenant of Islam). Saudi Arabian authorities quickly acknowledged an initial 717 killed, besides over 800 wounded in this contested incident, as pilgrims moved to perform the "stoning the devil" ritual. Iran claims well over 1,000 died, including at least 136 of its own citizens (besides hundreds missing), and blames Saudi Arabian ineptitude, or worse. Iran's political and civic leaders, many of whom are calling the incident a "massacre," are using the incident in their existing push for Mecca to be removed from Saudi royal family control and put under jurisdiction of the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation). As one official put it, via Fars News, "the continuation of incidents like what happened in Mina today proves that Saudi government lacks the needed efficiency and qualification for running the most holy places of Muslim world." 
- 1 Casualty Figures
- 2 Sources
- 3 Incident Analysis
- 4 Saudi Investigation and Blaming of Pilgrims
- 5 Other Hajj Tragedies
- 6 References
- There were initial counts in the 400 range and lower, which were quickly eclipsed
- Initial large toll: on the 25th KSA announced 717 killed, 863 injured (Al-Jazeera)
- raised by two to 719 killed Associated Press
- On the 26th the figures were raised to 769 dead, 934 injured. AFP report, via Times of India. 
- As of October 20, Saudi authorities have offered no updates or changes, taking some chances to disute larger numbers emerging and reiterate the 769 tally (see next entries below) but otherwise seeming paralyzed as the rest of the world arrives at tallies several times the admitted size.
- 1,100 by photos Refuted: AP reported on September 29 that the Saudi health ministry insists the 1,090 victim photos spoken of by officials in India and Pakistan include victims of the September 11 crane incident, other incidents, and natural causes for the whole Hajj season so far and insist the toll for the Sept. 24 incident still stands as it did three days earlier; 769 killed, 934 injured. 
- 4,000+ Refuted: AP's report noted "Iranian officials have suggested that the death toll in the disaster was far higher, with some figures as high as 4,000, without providing any corroboration." The source was apparently the health ministry website; "On Tuesday, Alzahrani said Saudi officials were investigating how a false statement with an incorrect, much-higher death toll similar to one offered by Iranian officials was published on a website linked to the Health Ministry’s home page." They seem to suspect it was a hacker attack.  Press TV, for example, reported this; the vice-minister of health was claiming 4,173 dead, by photos. "Reports" are cited, but Press TV shows a screen grab of a government website hosting a statement which the ministry had already refuted. 
Iranian sources for some reason have consistently cited much higher death tolls. One early Fars News report has 1,200 killed and 2,000 injured, while another says the incident "killed more than 2,000 people and left 2,000 wounded" including 136 Iranians, with 150 others wounded. Press TV reported the apparent source; "the head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization," Saeed Ohadi, "citing Saudi sources" announced that “Based on the latest announcement by Saudi Arabia’s officials, the number of those who were killed in the Mina incident is around 2,000." But the Saudis had not issued such a number. The total between dead and wounded - 1,580 - is the closest number they gave. (see also)
An early Press TV report when only 125 Iranians were known as included, "The head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization says at least 1,300 people have been killed." Ohadi "added that the overall death toll is expected to exceed 1,500."  2,000 looks poorly supported, but the source and reliability of their smaller 1,200-1,500 death toll range is unclear. We can see above the numbers from Saudi official and their ID photos creeping up quite close to the numbers Iran was offering at the start, but officially the kingdom seems locked into the numbers from the 26th.
Iranian state TV said that besides those killed (136) and injured (85 at that point) "344 Iranians remain missing," including "Ghazanfar Roknabadi, a former ambassador to Lebanon, as well as two Iranian state TV reporters and a prominent political analyst," as Mashable reported on September 26. RFE/RL also reported the same day "Tehran says 136 Iranians were killed and 102 injured in the stampede and it also urged Saudi Arabia to find 344 Iranians it says are still unaccounted for." 
On September 28 the official Iranian numbers were 169 dead, 46 hospitalized and 298 still missing. In the first sentences of his speech at the UN General Assembly that day, Iranian president Rouhani demanded immediate access to the remains of the Iranian victims and an independent investigation:
- I am speaking on behalf of a great nation who is mourning the loss of thousands of Muslim pilgrims and hundreds of its citizens. Old, young, men and women who had come together in the grand and global spiritual gathering of the Hajj, but unfortunately fell victim to the incompetence and mismanagement of those in charge. Due to their unaccountability, even the missing cannot be identified and the expeditious return of the bodies of the deceased to their mourning families has been prevented. The scope of a calamity in which thousands of innocent people from the four comers of the world have been killed and wounded is so broad that it cannot be dealt with as a natural disaster or a local issue. The pain and emotional distress inflicted on millions of Muslims is greater than what can be repaired merely through material calculations. Public opinion demands that Saudi Arabian officials promptly fulfill their international obligations and grant immediate consular access for the expeditious identification and return of the cherished bodies. Moreover, it is necessary that the conditions are prepared for an independent and precise investigation into the causes of this disaster and ways of preventing its repetition in the future.
Later on the 28th, it was reported that Iran's death toll was now at 226, with 248 remaining unclear.  Also on the 28th, it was raised to 228; the head of Iran’s Hajj organization, Saeed Ohadi, told Iranian news channel IRINN that 228 were now confirmed dead and "We still have no information about the fate of 248 Iranian pilgrims. We are worried that the number will increase."  The Guardian notes this is "significantly higher than previously thought."  The following day the count was raised again to 239. 
It's noteworthy that as confirmed deaths rose by 103 (from 136 to 239) the missing dropped by 103 (from 344 to 241). The suggestion that the missing tend to be dead could mean close to 480 had died (239 dead + 241 missing). This was borne out, at least as Iran's claim, by an October 1 announcement that they were doubling the death toll. As AFP reported:
- “Seven days after this tragic accident … the status of all (pilgrims) injured has been completely cleared and reported,” Iran’s hajj organisation said in a statement carried by state television. It said 464 Iranian pilgrims were thought to have died in the stampede near Mecca last Thursday. 
Every other credible source gradually came to agree the disaster was much bigger than the Saudis acknowledged, with a death toll probably at least twice the size, and easily the deadliest such disaster to hit the Hajj in its entire history.
- India: 1,090 by photos India Times reports
- External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today put the death toll in the Haj stampede in Mina at 1090, including 35 Indians, much higher than the figure of 769 given by Saudi authorities. "Saudi authorities have released photos of 1090 pilgrims who have died in Haj stampede," Swaraj tweeted. According to sources, though the Saudi authorities had not changed the official death toll, their various agencies together had put out pictures of 1090 people killed in the worst tragedy to hit the annual pilgrimage in 25 years. On October 8 it was reported "Recent Indian documents on the Mina disaster refer to at least 2,046 photographs of the dead, though its consular officials say some bodies were photographed multiple times." 
- Pakistan MP: 1,100" by photos: "Pakistani MP Tariq Fazal Chaudhry said that foreign diplomats were given “1,100 photos” of the dead, which could be viewed at Saudi embassies abroad. “This is the official figure of martyrs from Saudi officials, given for the identification process,” he told AP." 
- AP: 2,177 + by combined death tolls: AP reports October 1 refutes the Saudi toll; "an Associated Press count based on official figures from countries around the world shows at least 999 people perished near Islam's holy city of Mecca," and probably more, as "the AP survey covered only 15 of the more than 180 countries that sent some 2 million pilgrims to the annual pilgrimage." And further, "According to the AP count, nearly 600 people from around the world remain missing in Saudi Arabia."  This study continued to grow; it was soon raised to "over 1,100" but was still incomplete, only considering 16 countries.  On October 8, the AP study announced a new tally of 1,399 victims.  October 9, yet again it was raised: at least 1,470 were killed, likely higher, and already breaking the deadliest crush record set in 1992 with 1,426 killed.  On October 20, a new total of 2,177 was announced. 
- AFP: 1,633+ by combined death tolls: Similarly, AFP had a tally by October 1 of 995 dead, by adding death tolls "from 24 countries, mostly from official sources," and including 464 from Iran "Another 636 are reported as missing," the report adds.  This was eventually updated by October 14 to "at least 1,633, according to tallies given by foreign officials, making it the deadliest incident in the pilgrimage's history.
- Wikipedia: 2,226+ by combined death tolls The Wikipedia article 2015 Mina stampede has a table showing nationalities of victims currently totaling 42 nation (to AP and AFP's 16-24). As of October 20, this fairly well updated collation shows: 2,226 dead, 98 injured, 680 missing. This is likely to be off in a couple of ways but likely not by much. It shows a death toll in excess of 2,900 is likely.
- All these counts exclude Saudi citizens or others with no nation reporting for them.
- Middle East Eye: 2,432+ by numbering system A Saudi source who spent four days in Mina covertly taking photos of the displayed dead people at several places found that the used numbering system suggests that more than 2,000 people died.
- Indonesian Official: 2,000+ AP, October 8: "Indonesia's religious affairs minister, Lukman Hakim Saifuddin, said Thursday his country's diplomats have seen more than 2,000 photos purportedly of dead from the disaster, without elaborating." 
At least early on, Saudi authorities were nor providing nationality breakdowns for the victims.One report cites "Saudi Arabia's civil defense directorate" with an early count of 310 dead "The directorate says the victims in Thursday's stampede are of different nationalities, without providing details." On September 27, Inquisitr reported "officials have yet to declare the nationalities of those killed or injured."
But some nations issued their own reports on numbers dead, wounded, or missing.
- Iran is believed to easily top the list with at least 464 killed as of October 1,  quickly raised to 465, with no further update by October 9.
- Mali: 30 killed, about 300 missing (citation needed) upped to 60 killed  then 70 killed, 244 missing. By October 20 they decided 254 Malians had died.  By late October they had 306 confirmed dead, 66 still missing, so likely 372 dead, making an easy second place after Iran. 
- Nigeria: 20 Nigerians were killed, including a local emir and two of his wives. The toll was later upped dramatically to 54 killed, and "42 out of the 54 that died were from states’ pilgrims welfare board." Later it was raised to to 64 dead, and 244 missing  Early on there were fears as many as 100 Nigerians died. Two judges were among the early confirmed deaths.  By October 8 they believed at least 99 had died.  By October 14, reports had 168 Nigerians killed, with 144 still "missing."  By October 20, Nigeria claimed 199 dead.  Later, 222 dead, 130 missing, for a likely death toll of 352. 
- Egypt was hard-hit, with 54 confirmed dead, at least 26 injured, and 120 still missing on the 28th. By the 29th they were reporting 78 killed. (citation needed) Later, it was 124,  then 146 on October 5, with 92 still missing.  October 20: 182 dead.  Later, 190 dead, 45 unaccounted for  - likely 235 dead.
- India lost at least 22 citizens, later raised to 29, at least 13 more injured. Later the toll was raised to 35 dead, and then to 45, then 46. (citation needed)Then on October 6 it was 74 dead.  October 8 rise: 81 Indians killed.  By October 9, they claimed 101 dead, 32 still missing. 
- Pakistan: 10 Pakistanis were killed, and 316 missing, later revised to 18 killed, and some 176 of the missing were "found," apparently okay. Then the death toll was raised to 21, 35 wounded mostly released from hospital. Later it was reported 36 Pakistanis died and 85 remained missing. By October 5 it was 76 dead. 
- Indonesia: at least 34 Indonesians were killed, of a total 112 missing. Later it was raised to 46. (citation needed) By October 6, the number had risen to 100 and then to 103 Indonesians killed.
- Bangladesh: At least 9 killed
- Morocco: 87 killed, by early media reports.  Later, more official counts, say only 27 died  or even just 19, with 27 missing.  Later they had 41 confirmed dead, just one person missing. 
- Malaysia: at least 1 dead
- Wikipedia's article has a good list of casualties by nation - 41 nations report at least 1 citizen dead, 2 others have some injured and/or missing.
- Saudi Arabia: Saudi officials neither confirm nor explicitly deny if any citizens of the kingdom were among those who died, were injured, or just went missing. There don't seem to be any reports available, anyway, about such a statement, and the detailed Wikipedia table cited above of 43 nations doesn't even have a line for the nation that hosted the tragedy.
- Iran blames Saudi Arabia for over 700 killed in hajj stampede AP via Fox News
- Death toll rises to 719 AP via WRCBTV
- The Saudi civil defense directorate says that as of late Thursday, the death toll from the horrific crush during the hajj pilgrimage stood at 719, but that the figure probably would rise as bodies continued to be counted and sent to the morgue.
- In Iran, state television raised the death toll from among Iranian pilgrims, saying 131 were killed in the crush on the outskirts of Mecca.
- Saudi Arabia’s Asharq Al-Awsat–which is owned by one of King Salman’s sons–alleged over the weekend that Iranian pilgrims were to blame for the hajj disaster. ... Iran’s state-run Mehr News Agency alleged that the Hajj incident was “probably pre-planned.” (citing "a Syrian analyst" who said “the missing (disappearance/unacknowledged killing) of some of Iranian diplomatic and media figures indicates that the incident had been pre-planned.")
- Iran Summons Saudi Charge d'affairs Islamic Invitation Turkey
- Hajj massacre shadows worldwide celebration Islamic Invitation Turkey
- Exclusive video: stampede organized by Saudi slaughter regime Islamic Invitation Turkey
- Amateur video has appeared online, apparently showing the moment when a deadly crush began in Saudi Arabia’s Mina as two streams of pilgrims were redirected through a single gate.
- Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization puts the death toll at more than 1,300.
- The Caravan of King Salamn's son triggered stampede Islamic Invitation Turkey
- Iran urges fact finding mission IITurkey: "(Vice president of Parliament National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Mansour Haghighatpour said) the committee should also consider the issues like intentional or unintentional nature of the incidents" and also be "directed in a way to introduce Mecca and Medina as free Islamic zones to provide comfort and security for all Muslims during the Hajj rituals.” 
- Iran's Prosecutor-General Wants Criminal Investigation into Hajj Stampede Fars News Engish
- Massacre in the ranks of Mecca pilgrims (Arabic) ad-Diyar, September 25 "the procession of the crown prince was the direct cause of this massacre.The Saudi authorities are trying to deny the news of the passage of the solemn procession..." and claims 28 scapegoats in Hajj management have already been sentenced to death by beheading "tomorrow" (the 26th), either for incompetence or perhaps to shut them up about the details. (Claim of 28 beheaded echoed here by Breitbart, citing the same source)
- Mehr News, Iran (English) September 28: The head of Syrian Center for Statistics and Research, Ahmad Adib Ahmad, "told Mehr News Mina incident was pre-planned in its most probability." (no concrete evidence cited, just reasoned speculation, if highly biased against, as he says, "Saudi authorities who only cared for killing especially in Syria and now in Yemen.")
The incident happened in the tent city of Mina, east of Mecca and the grand mosque, as pilgrims moved towards the Jamarat bridge structure for the ritual of "stoning the devil." The crush reportedly happened at the intersection of "streets" 204 and 223, here on Gogle maps and shown in a graphic by Anadolu Agency, about one kilometer southeast of the Jamarat structure. The basic area is also shown at right, with hopefully a more detailed mapping later.
Islamic Invitation Turkey shared a video allegedly of the incident but it's a smaller crowd at the Jamarat bridge and not directly relevant (see talk page, false claims)
ABC.net report cites a Sudanese pilgrim in Mina who "said this year's Hajj was the most poorly organised of four he had attended."
- "People were already dehydrated and fainting" before the stampede, said the man, who declined to be named. People "were tripping all over each other", he said, adding that a Saudi companion had warned him that "something was going to happen".
Vanguard (Nigeria) relates a survivor's story (as told to another paper):
- “We were trapped between narrow lanes with iron wall of tents on both sides of the road,” he told PREMIUM TIMES in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. “There was no way out, so people started scaling fences into tents of Algeria and other Arab countries,” he added
- The pilgrim lamented that poor security contributed to the tragedy, saying there was not enough “security around or any rescue team.” There have been reports that the closure of two essential gates, reportedly at the instance of the Saudi Royal family who were receiving some visitors, was a major cause of the stampede, a fact Shittu said: “If the gates of those tents from both sides of the road had opened, the death toll would have been very minimal “The Arabs closed the gates and continued to hit the hands of any pilgrim with a metal as they attempted to scale their fences.”
A consulted crowd control expert says he had repeatedly warned Saudi authorities to take all measures to prevent overcrowding there. Fars News had reported "Designer of Jamarat Bridge: I Had Warned Saudis against Overcrowding Route 204" (apparently pulled, perhaps due to an error) An archived snippet says
- TEHRAN (FNA)- G. Keith Still, professor of crowd science at Manchester Metropolitan University who has worked with the Saudi authorities to design the Jamarat Bridge that leads to the pillars, revealed that he had many times warned the Saudi officials that route 204, where the Thursday stampede happened, shouldn’t be overcrowded.
The same expert spoke in this discussion afterwards. As summarized:
- Crowd-control experts believe victims in the crowd were more likely to have died of compressive suffocation, rather than a "stampede." Abdullah Lotfy of Egypt told the Associated Press, "People were climbing over one another just to breathe... It was like a wave. You go forward and suddenly you go back."
Alleged survivors interviewed by PressTV blamed the high number of deaths in part on the poor rescue efforts where some wounded were left to die without help for "four or five hours". They also alleged that the rescue workers asked for nationality and discriminated against Iranians, and that large numbers of Saudi soldiers stood idly by without helping the dying.
An upsetting amateur video from the scene shows people jammed together, struggling to get free. After the survivors were removed, the bottom layer of dead were left, as seen in news photos.
Saudi Investigation and Blaming of Pilgrims
ABC.net reports King Salman has ordered "a revision of the plans" for Hajj organisation so that pilgrims can "carry out their rituals in complete safety", the official Saudi Press Agency said.
Being a theocracy, it may legally matter that on September 26, the kingdom's top religious leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh advised King Salman, as RFE/RL reported:
- "You are not responsible for what happened," Sheikh told Crown Prince and Interior Minister Muhammad bin Nayef bin Abdelaziz at a meeting in Mina, the city where the stampede occurred. “As for the things that humans cannot control, you are not blamed for them. Fate and destiny are inevitable," Sheikh told the prince. 
There's no explanation offered yet how God managed to confine so many people in one fenced and policed area in 46-degree weather and then let them out only though one narrow gate.
Others sympathetic to the royals find human error involved, but only on the part of the pilgrims.
- A Saudi minister blamed the pilgrims for the tragedy and said they had not followed Hajj rules. "Many pilgrims move without respecting the timetables," health minister Khaled al-Falih said. "If the pilgrims had followed instructions, this type of accident could have been avoided." 
Some pilgrims agreed;
- "We are thankful to our brothers in Saudi Arabia for this effort," said Abdullah Ali, a 38-year-old Emirati, who blamed other pilgrims for the stampede and urged more awareness. "As you can see, people come from different backgrounds. They are affected by their cultures." 
Other sources are more specific about the culture(s) in question.
On the day of the incident, it was reported that al-Arabiya (Saudi royal family owned) had aired a statement by the head of Central Hajj Committee Prince Khaled al-Faisal has blamed the stampede on "some pilgrims from African nationalities."
KSA denies this was ever said (see bottom of this report). Indeed, the original statement is hard, or impossible, to find. One video of September 24 that mentions "African nationalities" has a reporter saying, with rough translation below. "Direction contrary to the traffic and prevent Pilgrims, and from different nationalities, especially Africans who had come from security. That the tendency to reverse course and enter On the pilgrims, who are here as well. Another problem is a problem. Other." Prince Khaled isn't even named in that.
Another Sept. 24 video that came up in the same search mentions the prince and also almost says this: "The holy city of mecca area Chairman of the central Hajj committee, Prince Khaled Al-faisal, Ashraf On the ground on the efforts to deal with. ... (later) That the camps Nationalities in the camps African relations are a majority."
Iranian Pilgrims Blamed
A bit later, the blame shifted; as reported September 26 by Asharq al-Awsat English (London-based but Saudi-supported) the "tragedy" was "caused by a group of Iranian pilgrims who failed to follow instructions from Hajj authorities, an official from Iran’s Hajj mission has revealed." The source is anonymous and unverifiable, but Iranian, they say. The crossroads collision was their fault, the anonymous official allegedly claimed ("revealed") and began:
- ...after a group of around 300 Iranian pilgrims failed to follow orders requiring them to wait for clearance to leave Jamarat—the site where pilgrims perform the “stoning the devil” ritual. Instead, the group went back to their mission’s headquarters as other groups were on their way to the site as scheduled, according to the official. “The group stopped for a while, causing the coming pilgrims to take a route no more than 20 meters wide,” he said, adding that such behavior often leads to tragic consequences in crowded areas. The Iranian pilgrims were scheduled to leave Jamarat hours after the accident took place, the official said.
That would presumably be accidental, leading as it did to the death of at least 169 fellow Iranians.
But the same report adds this detail, suggesting the group may be under criminal suspicion: Meanwhile, a Saudi security source said authorities may check security cameras installed in the tunnel leading to Jamarat to verify when the Iranian group left the site.
(site seems to mean Jamarat, southbound, not away from the site of the crush)
This concept has been expanded into an article at Monitor on Massacre Marketing (ACLOS-affiliated blog): Mina Hajj Tragedy: Saudi Arabia Blames Iran. Combined sources explain Iranian pilgrims first allegedly headed straight to the Jaramat bridge from elsewhere, rather than going to their tents first as ordered. Then they left the bridge early and went back to their tents at the wrong time, running into the next group. As mentioned there, Al-Arabiya produced a computer animation of the allegations. This shows the collision on street 204 south of the intersection with street 223 it actually happened at (see graphic above). In fact, the animation shows there is no place where 204 and 223 meet, with an imaginary row of tents blocking the connection. This prevents any possibility of the blocking of street 206 (which connects to 223) being relevant to what happened, and leaves the blame on the unruly Iranians.
Theological Gag Order?
Several religious scholars decreed on September 28, as Arab News reports that Muslims should not post images of the dead or injured without family approval for each victim shown, as it violates Sharia law. This was presumably a religious and moral consideration, not to minimize embarrassment, stifle speech, or limit knowledge of the incident. But Sheikh Saleh bin Ghanim Al-Sadlan, postgraduate studies professor at Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, said "What happened was God's will" and "The authorities will thoroughly investigate the accident to know the causes and motives that led to" this act of "God's will." He's paraphrased as "advising everybody to avoid talking about this subject and fake stories without real evidences, or publishing such photographs." And Dr. Hisham bin Abdulmalik Al-Sheikh, associate professor at the Higher Judicial Institute, said:
- "Those who sit in their homes tweeting and repeating things they do not know should not indulge themselves in such issues. There are officials and authorized persons who investigate the accident and make reports, and they did not even comment on what the public tweets on social media."
And Dr. Mohammad Al-Sahli, deputy dean of the College of Islamic Shariah at Umm Al-Qura - and furthermore a member of the Human Rights Commission of Saudi Arabia - agreed. He's paraphrased as saying: "there are people who are trolling in muddy waters, exploiting the accident to defame the image of the Kingdom in the media to blur the great achievements of the country."
Other Hajj Tragedies
13 days earlier, on September 11, a massive construction crane collapsed at the Grand Mosque in Mecca during a storm, injuring well over 200 and killing at least 107 gathered in a part of the mosque. This included at least 8 Iranians, one of whom was one of the country's leading space scientists, leading to calls from Iranian lawmakers for the same pilgramage management shift they would advocate later. (Jerusalem Post, citing Fars news agency)
A Fars News English report includes a list of prior incidents back to the 1970s, many at this same bridge used in the "stoning the devil" ritual that turned deadly this year.
- Iran urges fact finding mission Fars News English, September 25, 2015
- Haj ends as stampede death toll rises to 769 AFP via Times of India, Sep 26, 2015, 08.35 PM IST
- Saudis attempt to quash rumors of higher hajj crush death tollAssociated Press (via Times of Israel), September 29, 2015
- Hajj Death Toll Rises As Saudi Cleric Says Stampede Beyond Human Control Radio Free Eutrope/Radio Liberty, September 26, 2015 Last updated (GMT/UTC): 26.09.2015 18:22
- Iran demands fact-finding committee on Hajj crush, PressTV, September 28, 2015
- UN General Assembly Statement, Hassan Rouhani, September 28, 2015
- Iran says Hajj death toll expected to rise Albawaba.com, September 29th, 2015
- Iran nearly doubles its death toll from hajj stampede AFP via Times of Israel, October 1, 2015
- Haj stampede death toll may exceed 1,000
- Saudi hajj disaster toll rises higher with Iran's 465 dead By NASSER KARIMI and JON GAMBRELL, Associated Press via Yahoo News, October 1,2015
- Stampede At Hajj In Saudi Arabia Reportedly Killed At Least 2,177 By John Gambrell, AP via Huffington Post, October 20, 2015
- Saudi Hajj disaster: Photos suggest true death toll in thousands, Middle East Eye, October 7, 2015
- Mecca crush survivors share accounts, blame Saudi authorities, PressTV, September 27, 2015
- Saudi soldiers watched pilgrims die: Survivor, PressTV, September 28, 2015