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Another Jordanian declared missing during Hajj

By Dana Al Emam - Sep 29,2015 - Last updated at Sep 29,2015

A highway patrol officer speaks to pilgrims whose bus broke down on their way back home on Monday. One Jordanian pilgrim died in a stampede in the holy land, while two others are still missing (Petra photo)

AMMAN — A second Jordanian man, 39-year-old Tareq Hassan, has been reported missing in the Hajj stampede incident in Mecca, an Awqaf Ministry official said Monday.

The ministry’s secretary general, Abdul Monem Hyari, added that the department does not have any further information on Hassan as he was not part of ministry’s official Hajj group. The ministry was in contact with his family, he said.

The stampede, which occurred Thursday between the Jamarat pillars and bridge in Mina, during the ritual of the Stoning of the Devil, resulted in the death of over 700 pilgrims and the injury of hundreds.

Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, is one of the five pillars of Islam and the religious high point of a Muslim’s life. It is performed during a five-day period from the 9th through to the 13th of Dhul Hijja, the 12th month of the Muslim lunar calendar.

Ahmad Abu Awali, 56-years-old, lost his life during the stampede, while 70-year-old Sami Batayneh was reported missing earlier this week.

The two men were still missing when this story went to print.

“The ministry’s team on Monday paid another visit to hospitals and to the location of the stampede incident near Mina looking for the two men, in coordination with concerned Saudi authorities,” Hyari told The Jordan Times over phone.

The team is to stay in Mecca to follow up on the issue until Friday, with hopes of finding the two missing men. The official added that if they were not found by then, the Jordanian consulate is to follow up.  

Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Sabah Al Rafie told The Jordan Times that the ministry was following up on the issue of the missing Jordanians with the Jordanian consulate in Saudi Arabia.

She added that the ministry was also in contact with both families.

Meanwhile, 120 busses carrying Jordanian pilgrims arrived in the Kingdom on Monday morning, with pilgrims travelling via planes scheduled to arrive soon, said Hyari.

 

Hajj season

 

Commenting on the overall Hajj season, Hyari said this year witnessed advancement in the level of services provided to pilgrims.

He stated that there was a variety of housing options at varied prices based on the distance from the shrine and ranging from JD900-JD8,000. He noted that opening the housing options to competition contributed to a drop in accommodation fees.

 

Some 5,600 Jordanians performed Hajj rituals through the ministry this year, including administrative teams. The number of 1948 Palestinian pilgrims reached 3,600, according to Hyari.

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