Stampede kills more than 700 at Hajj pilgrimage near Mecca – CNN

For full coverage in Arabic, please visit CNN Arabic.

(CNN)A stampede during one of the last rituals of the Hajj season — the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca – has killed more than 700 people and injured 800 others in Saudi Arabia.

The stampede occurred Thursday morning during the ritual known as “stoning the devil” in the tent city of Mina, about 2 miles from Mecca, Islam‘s holiest city.

Footage taken just after the stampede — obtained by CNN Arabic — shows a disturbing scene. Bodies piled upon bodies, a few moving, but most appearing lifeless. Workers in hard hats and reflective vests can be seen working the edges of the pile of faithful, pulling dead bodies away to get to those who are still alive.

The video captures the cacophony of shouts amid the chaos.

Ethar El-Katatney, a pilgrim who was near the stampede site about five hours after the surge happened, said she walked past ambulances that were carrying bodies of victims. She said she saw numerous police officers and medical personnel in the area.

“I saw the ambulances, I saw bodies. … At least 20, 30 ambulances passed me by,” she told CNN by phone as she tried to reach the pillars herself.

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