Hajj stam­pede: Nige­ria death toll rises to 168

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Ab­bas Ji­moh, Saudi Ara­bia; Yusha’u A. Ibrahim & Haruna Gimba Yaya, Kano

The Na­tional Hajj Com­mis­sion of Nige­ria (NAHCON) has said that the num­ber of Nige­ri­ans con­firmed dead in the Septem­ber 24 stam­pede in Mina, Saudi Ara­bia has risen from 145 to 168.

Spokesman of the com­mis­sion, Uba Mana said last night in Makkah that the num­ber of in­jured re­mained 35, while those miss­ing had re­duced from 165 to 144.

“Seven of our pil­grims are on ad­mis­sion and re­spond­ing to treat­ments while oth­ers that were in­jured have been dis­charged,” Mana said.

Daily Trust re­ports that those miss­ing are feared dead though not yet iden­ti­fied among hun­dreds of bod­ies at hos­pi­tal morgues. But the com­mis­sion has in­sisted they could not be de­clared dead un­til cer­ti­fied or iden­ti­fied by the fin­ger prints or DNA match­ings.

The Com­mis­sioner of Oper­a­tions of the com­mis­sion, Al­haji Ibrahim Modibbo Saleh on Sun­day in Makkah said: “Those de­clared miss­ing can­not be de­clared dead, since their corpses have not been iden­ti­fied and there are on­go­ing ef­forts to lo­cate them or iden­tify their re­mains among the dead.”

Mean­while, the Emir of Kano, Malam Muham­madu Sanusi II and leader of the Cen­tral Co­or­di­nat­ing Com­mit­tee of this year’s hajj told news­men in Kano shortly af­ter he re­turned from Makka yesterday that: “About 168 Nige­ri­ans were iden­ti­fied and con­firmed to have been killed in the stamped and also over 140 are still miss­ing which we as­sumed to have also died in the stam­pede as well.

“If you count the num­ber of those that were con­firmed to have died and those that were still miss­ing and could not be traced, you will have over 300 Nige­ri­ans that are killed in the stam­pede,” he said.

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