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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Another Hajj stampede kills 300

The death toll could rise to 300 in Saudi Arabia where Muslim pilgrims were crushed to death on Thursday during a stoning ritual on the last day of the hajj, medical sources said.

"It's likely to be around 300 in the end," said a medic in Mena. Medical sources earlier said more than 100 people died.

The crush was the second tragedy to hit this year's pilgrimage. Last week, 76 people were killed when a hostel in Mecca collapsed in a narrow street.

Here's a rough body count from previous Hajj's:
1979 - 250 (fighting)
1987 - 400
1990 - 1426 (fire)
1994 - 270
1997 - 343
1998 - 118
2001 - 35
2004 - 251
2005 - 376

That's over 3400 Muslims dead in recent years from the Hajj.

This is more than the number of Palestinian Arabs killed in the Intifada (according to B'tzelem.)