July 8, 1990 |
Turkish political leaders led a growing outcry against Saudi Arabia over the death of an estimated 1,426 Muslim pilgrims trampled or suffocated in a tunnel in Mecca while on a pilgrimage, or hajj, to Islam's holiest shrine. A Turkish survivor said escape routes from the tunnel were closed with wire and soldiers fled instead of aiding the 50,000 trapped and panic-stricken pilgrims. Turkey, with 550 dead and Indonesia with 122 bore the brunt of the loss.
July 5, 1990 |
Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims wound up their rituals at Islam's holiest sites Wednesday while the Muslim world mourned the deaths of 1,426 people in the worst pilgrimage tragedy in modern history. Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani said the tragedy proves that the Saudi royal family is incompetent to administer Islam's holiest shrines.
July 4, 1990 |
A frantic stampede that killed more than 1,400 Muslim pilgrims inside a pedestrian tunnel was prompted by the tumbling of seven people from a bridge leading to the tunnel, Saudi Arabia's interior minister said Tuesday. Prince Nayif ibn Abdulaziz put the death toll at 1,426, making it the worst pilgrimage tragedy in recent history. Reporters were barred from the General Hospital at Mina, the tent city connected by the tunnel to Mecca.
July 3, 1990 |
About 1,400 Muslim pilgrims suffocated or were trampled to death Monday in a stampede in a pedestrian tunnel leading to the holy city of Mecca, witnesses and diplomats said. They said the stampede began when some pilgrims stopped in the middle of the air-conditioned tunnel and there was a crush as people outside pushed forward to escape the 112-degree heat. They also said the ventilation in the tunnel then appeared to have stopped.
April 24, 1990 |
President Mikhail S. Gorbachev has ordered the operation of special Aeroflot flights to Saudi Arabia to allow Soviet Muslims to make the ritual pilgrimage to Mecca, his spokesman, Arkady A. Maslennikov, said. Starting in June, the flights are to leave for Jidda, Saudi Arabia, from Moscow and several other Soviet cities with large Muslim populations. The two nations do not have diplomatic relations.
September 22, 1989
Sixteen Shiite Muslims from Kuwait were beheaded in Saudi Arabia for exploding two bombs in Mecca last July at the height of the Muslim pilgrimage to the holy city, the Saudi Interior Ministry said. A statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency said 10 of those beheaded were of Iranian origin and two were of Saudi descent. The statement implicitly blamed Iran for the attacks, which killed a man and wounded 16 others.
July 11, 1989 |
Two explosions, apparently bombs, rocked Mecca on Monday night, killing one person and wounding 16 others as hundreds of thousands of pilgrims streamed away from prayers at Islam's holiest shrine, the Grand Mosque. A senior Interior Ministry official told the Saudi Press Agency that two of the injured were in critical condition. The agency earlier quoted an unnamed official who called the blasts "a criminal act."
July 8, 1989 |
Saudi Arabia's official media branded Iran's rulers madmen and terrorists Friday in renewed conflict over the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, where more than a million Muslims have gathered. The behavior of Iran's rulers "can only be described as madness and foolishness. . . . It is impossible to deal with Iran in any way," Saudi Arabia's Al Riyadh newspaper said.