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.
Mid-Hill highway opens door of prosperity: Minister Adhikari
GALKOT- Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari has said that the Mid-Hill highway had opened the door of prosperity.
He added that the highway was easing the transportation service of the hilly people.
Inaugurating the Badigad Festival and Nwagi Fair-2075 BS here in Baglung district on Saturday, Minister Adhikari stressed on preserving and promoting the domestic cultures to strengthen the nationality and create harmony among the people.
The festival organizer committee coordinator Tika Paija shared that the festival was organized to preserve domestic culture and promote local tourism.
The festival will run until November 25.