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.
Nirmala Panta’s murder accused held after 24 days
KANCHANPUR — Police in Kanchanpur have made public an accused arrested in connection with the murder of 13-year-old Nirmala Panta of Kanchanpur’s Bhimdatta Municipality.
Dilip Singh Bista, 41, of Baghphanta, Bhimdatta Municipality was made public at a press conference at the DPO. Bista was arrested on Saturday,according to the District Police Office Spokesperson Deputy Superintendent of Police Gyan Bahadur Sethi.
Nirmala was found dead in a sugarcane field on July 27, a day after she had gone to her friend’s home to get a notebook.
Bista,who was released from prison last year after serving nine years for murdering his brother-in-law Narayansingh Thapa, works as a daily-wage labourer.
According to Bista’s statement to police, he helped Nirmala fix her bicycle chain before raping and killing her on July 26. He told police that killed her to avoid being arrested again.Follow @gorkhapost