Haj death toll rises to 769, Iran denounces ‘crime’

The death toll in a crush at the annual haj pilgrimage outside Mecca rose to 769, Saudi Arabia said on Saturday, as arch-rival Iran said Saudi officials should be tried in an international court for what it called a crime.

The worst disaster to befall the Islamic event in a quarter of a century occurred on Thursday as two large groups of pilgrims arrived together at a crossroads in Mina, a few kilometers outside the holy city.

“The latest statistics up to this hour reveal 769 dead. That is an increase of 52 on the previous figures,” Saudi health minister Khalid al-Falih told a news conference.

“Those are the ones who died in various hospitals since the event,” he said, adding that 934 people were wounded.

Shi’ite Muslim Iran, which is locked in a series of proxy wars in Arab countries around the Sunni Muslim kingdom, says that at least 136 Iranians are among the dead, sparking protests and outrage in the Islamic Republic on Friday.

Over 300 other Iranians remain unaccounted for, including former ambassador to Lebanon Ghazanfar Roknabadi, Fars news agency reported.

“We will urge international courts and circles to start the trial of the Saudis for their crimes against haj pilgrims,” Iran’s Prosecutor General Ebrahim Raisi was quoted as saying by student news agency ISNA on Saturday

“This is not incompetence, it’s a crime,” Raisi told state broadcaster IRIB.

At the U. N. General Assembly, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani used his address to the summit to demand an investigation into the crush.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/26/us-saudi-haj-toll-

idUSKCN0RQ0FB20150926


Glossary


Death toll   /tōl/

the number of deaths resulting from a particular cause, especially an accident, battle, or natural disaster.


denounce   /dəˈnouns/   V

publicly declare to be wrong or evil. “the Assembly denounced the use of violence” synonyms: condemn, criticize, attack, censure, decry, revile, vilify, discredit, damn, reject; “other theorists of his time denounced cinema as a crude mass art form”


crush   /krəSH/   N

a crowd of people pressed closely together, especially in an enclosed space. “a number of youngsters fainted in the crush” synonyms: crowd, throng, horde, swarm, sea, mass, pack, press, mob “the crush of people”


pilgrimage   /ˈpilɡrəmij/   N

a pilgrim’s journey. synonyms: religious journey, religious expedition, hajj, crusade, mission “an annual pilgrimage to the Holy City”


Arch-rival   /ˌɑːtʃˈrʌɪv(ə)l/

The chief rival of a person, team, or organization.

“a game between Rangers and their arch-rivals Celtic”

rival a person or thing competing with another for the same objective or for superiority in the same field of activity. “he has no serious rival for the job” synonyms: opponent, challenger, competitor, contender;


try   /traɪ/   V

to judge a person or case in a court of law “Franklin’s case will be tried on August 25th.” try someone for something: “He was tried for murder and found guilty.”


befall   uk   /bɪˈfɔːl/   us   /-ˈfɑːl/   V

If something bad or dangerous befalls you, it happens to you: “Should any harm befall me on my journey, you may open this letter.”


pilgrime   /ˈpilɡrəm/   N

a person who journeys to a sacred place for religious reasons. synonyms:   worshiper, devotee, believer; traveler, crusader; literarywayfarer; historicalpalmer “the destination of these weary pilgrims”


statistics  /stəˈtɪs.tɪk/   [plural]  

(informal stats ) information based on a study of the number of times something happens or is present, or other numerical facts: “Statistics show/suggest that women live longer than men.” “According to official statistics, the Japanese work longer hours than workers in most other industrialized countries.”


reveal   /rɪˈvil/   V  

to let something become known, for example a secret or information that was previously not known “She refused to reveal the contents of the letter.” “Cockpit recordings may reveal the cause of the crash.”


Proxy war   /ˈpräksē/ /wôr/

جنگ نیابتی


spark   /spɑrk/   V

spark or spark off to make something happen, especially something involving violence or angry feelings “The protests were sparked by the firing of two restaurant employees.” “The trial sparked off widespread rioting in London.”


unaccounted for   /ˌʌnəˈkaʊntəd ˌfɔr/   Adj

missing “Forty people are still unaccounted for after the avalanche.”


urge   /ɜrdʒ/   V

to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take urge someone to do something: “The United Nations has urged them to honor the peace treaty.”


incompetence   /ɪnˈkɑmpət(ə)ns/   N

lack of skill or ability to do something correctly or well “economic mismanagement and incompetence” “the sheer incompetence of the police inquiry”


address   /əˈdres/   N

a formal speech given by someone to a group of people, especially as part of an important occasion “The president is to deliver a televised address to the nation.”


summit   /ˈsʌmɪt/   N

summit or summit meeting a meeting or series of meetings between leaders of two or more countries “a summit of EU leaders” “a summit meeting on AIDS” “The summit will be held in Madrid in June.”