Questions, finger-pointing after stampede at Hajj kills over 700 – CNN

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(CNN)Bodies piled upon bodies. A few people still moving while others appear lifeless. Rescue workers struggling to reach those still alive by pulling the dead out of the way.

A day after a deadly crush killed 717 people during Hajj in Saudi Arabia, a major question remained Friday: what caused the chaotic stampede that killed throngs of pilgrims?

Saudi officials are trying to figure out what went horribly wrong this week during the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. But some who made the journey said various factors may have played a role.

Too many people, too little time

More than 2 million Muslims from around the world are in Saudi Arabia for Hajj, a pilgrimage that every Muslim who has the financial means and the physical ability to must make. For most, it is the spiritual climax of their lives, with many saving for decades to make the journey.

And the millions of people must perform a litany of rituals in five days, including the symbolic stoning of the devil in Mina — about 2 miles away from Mecca.


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