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Khamenei condemns Saudi Arabia for hajj stampede

Iranian officials have blamed Saudi management of the hajj for the stampede that left at least 125 Iranians dead.
Muslim pilgrims walk on roads as they head to cast stones at pillars symbolizing Satan during the annual haj pilgrimage in Mina on the first day of Eid al-Adha, near the holy city of Mecca September 24, 2015. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood - RTX1S609
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Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared three days of mourning and has condemned Saudi Arabia for a stampede Sept. 24 near the holy city of Mecca that left over 1,000 pilgrims dead, with at least 125 Iranians among them. While Prince Khaled al-Faisal, head of the Central Hajj Committee, blamed the stampede on “some pilgrims from African nationalities,” Iranian officials have blamed Saudi Arabia for poor management. The incident follows the Sept. 11 collapse of a crane in Mecca in which 11 Iranians died, including a top scientist.

In a statement released by his website, Khamenei wrote, "The Saudi government has a duty to accept its heavy responsibility for this bitter event." He blamed the stampede on "poor management and incompetent actions."

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