Baku, 24 September, AZERTAC
At least 717 people taking part in the Hajj pilgrimage have been killed in a stampede near the Islamic holy city of Mecca, officials in Saudi Arabia say, according to the BBC. Another 863 people were injured in the incident at Mina, which occurred as two million pilgrims were taking part in the Hajj's last major rite. They converge on Mina to throw stones at pillars representing the devil. Preparations for the Hajj were marred when a crane collapsed at Mecca's Grand Mosque this month, killing 109 people. The Saudi civil defence directorate said on Twitter that 4,000 personnel had been sent to the scene of Thursday's stampede, along with more than 220 emergency and rescue units. The injured are being taken to four hospitals in the area.