National

Indian Death Toll In Haj Tragedy Rises To 35

New Delhi:Sept 28; At least 35 Indians have lost their lives to the tragic stampede outside the holy city of Mecca that killed at least 769 people and injured 860 others, confirmed the Indian ministry of external affairs on Sunday.

"Unfortunately, there are six more Indians taking the toll to 35," tweeted External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.

While the ministry is facilitating visits of relatives of missing pilgrims and tour operators to the complex for identification of bodies, Indians volunteers have also turned up in large numbers assist local authorities, said Swaraj.

Nearly 1.5 lakh Indians had gone on the Haj pilgrimage to Mecca this year. The stampede occurred on Thursday when Haj pilgrims jostled their way to perform symbolic stoning of the devil in Mina at the holy Mecca, marking the culmination of the annual pilgrimage.

Thursday's tragedy occurred outside the five-storey Jamarat Bridge, which was erected in the last decade at a cost of more than $1 billion and intended to improve safety.

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