RIYADH — At least eighteen pilgrims have been injured in a stampede near Islam`s holiest site, Saudi media reported on Saturday, as the kingdom continues to review safety after a deadly crush during last year`s hajj.
The incident occurred on Friday night near the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the Al-Riyadh newspaper said, as Muslims gathered in large numbers to mark the Night of Destiny, one of the high points of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
All the injured were treated at the scene and none required admission to hospital, the newspaper cited a health official as saying.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims flock to Mecca to carry out the lesser umra pilgrimage during Ramadan — especially during its last 10 days.
They include the Night of Destiny, when the angel Gabriel is believed to have given the Prophet Mohammed the verses of the Koran.
The incident comes as Saudi authorities continue to unveil new safety measures for this year`s hajj in September.
A crush at last year`s hajj killed more than 2,000 pilgrims in the worst disaster to ever strike the annual ritual.
According to figures from foreign officials, at least 2,297 pilgrims died. Saudi Arabia issued a death toll of 769.
Newspapers reported on Friday that, among new security measures, hajj pilgrims this year will have to wear an electronic safety bracelet to store their personal information, including address and medical records.
2 injured as bomb goes off at Ward Chair’s house
DAMAK — An unidentified group detonated a bomb at the house of Bhim Poudel, a Ward Chairperson of the Damak Municipality Ward Number 7, last night, injuring two people including a woman.
The injured were hit by shrapnel due to the explosion. The explosion has also caused minor damages to the house which is located some 500 metres to the east of the Area Police Office, Damak.
It was a powerful explosion and it is not known who carried it out, police said.
Those injured in the incident are Semu Rai and Tilochan Pokhrel who had come to visit their relatives at the house next to Poudel’s house.
Both them who have been wounded in the hands and legs are being treated at the Lifeline Hospital in Damak. Rai is a staff at the same hospital.
Police has started an investigation into the case. Meanwhile, the Nepal Communist Party led by Netra Bikram Chand (Biplav) has today issued a press release saying those playing main role in evicting the landless squatters in the disputed market area in Damak. It had specifically named Wrad Chair Poudel and Mayor Romnath Oli.
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