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5 more Bangladeshis die in Mina stampede, families say
Observer Online Desk
Published :Saturday, 26 September, 2015,  Time : 7:06 PM  View Count : 30
At least five more Bangladesh nationals are among those killed in Thursday’s stampede in Saudi Arabia’s Mina during the Hajj, say their families.
But there have been no official figures on Bangladeshi victims coming from the government even a day after the tragedy in which more than 700 people of different nationalities lost their lives.

Over two million Muslims from 150 countries are performing Hajj this year. Of them, more than 100,000 are Bangladeshis.

Until Friday night, families of nine people, who went to perform Hajj, correspondents about their passing away.

They include two women from Jamalpur and Sunamganj, two siblings from Feni, a septuagenarian man of Dinajpur, a man and a couple from Shariatpur and a sexagenarian man of Brahmanbarhia.

Some relatives of the deceased Bangladeshi Hajj pilgrims were also injured inThursday’s incident, the families said.

Saudi Arabia said 717 people were killed in the stampede and 863 were injured. But its officials have given no update on the toll though 24 hours have passed after the last update.

The stampede took place when the pilgrims were going to perform the ‘stone the devil’ ritual in Mina, near the holy city of Makkah, at around noon BdST.

After the incident, reports of four Bangladeshis being killed came to the light; but the government could not be confirm as Saudi authorities did not allow any one near the hospitals that are conducting autopsies and treating the wounded.

On Friday, Kamal Hossain, son of Kurmat Ali, 70, of Dinajpur’s Setabganj Upazila, told reporters that his father had died in Mina.

Hossain said his brother-in-law and one Touhidul Islam, who was supervising the team of pilgrims Ali was in, had called them over phone to give the news of his father’s death.

“My father has been buried in Saudi Arabia with the consent of other family members,” he said.

Abdur Razzak Akanda, 65, and his wife Hasina Aktar of Shariatpur’s Jajira Upzaila are two other Bangladeshi victims.

Akanda, a retired jail superintendent, lived with his family in Dhaka’s Dhanmondi.

Their eldest son Rubaiyat Akbar confirmed of his parents’ deaths in the stampede.

Another person from Shariatpur killed in the stampede was Ahmed Ali Mridha, 65, of Gosairhat Upazila.

Upazila Vice-Chairman Md Shahjahan Dewan and Mridha's nephew Shahidul Islam confirmed of his death.

OC of Brahmanbarhia’s Kasba Police Station Md Mohiuddin, quoting family members, told one Golam Mostofa, 60, of the Upazila, also died in Mina Thursday.

Mostofa’s wife Raoshon Ara was also injured, he said, quoting Md Yasin, son of the deceased.

Religious affairs ministry’s Joint Secretary Jahangir Alam, who is supervising Bangladeshi Hajj pilgrims in Saudi Arabia, told on Friday, “We’ve heard that the families got news of death.”

“But the Saudi government has not published the number of victims based on their nationalities yet.”

“There are complaints of around 200 Bangladeshis going missing in the past two days. But many of them went missing from Muzdalifah, not Mina,” he added.

“Such thing happened before; someone went missing but was found afterwards. So it cannot be said for sure how many [Bangladeshis] are among the victims,” he added.

Bangladesh Ambassador in Saudi Arabia Golam Moshi told that Saudi Arabia might publish details of the victims on Friday night (local time).

“Which means deep in the night or Saturday morning in Bangladesh,” he said.

After Thursday’s incident, the Bangladesh embassy there had opened hotlines for Bangladeshis to seek assistance. The numbers are 00966537375859 and 00966509360082.

Two weeks ago, 110 people, including one Bangladeshi, died in Makkah's Grand Mosque when a crane collapsed during a storm and toppled off the roof into the main courtyard, crushing pilgrims underneath.

At least 40 Bangladeshis were also among the 238 others injured in that accident.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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