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DFA verifying reports Filipino killed in Saudi stampede

Camille Diola (Philstar.com) - September 24, 2015 - 10:19pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs on Friday is verifying reports that a Filipino was among the hundreds of pilgrims who died in the stampede Saudi Arabia.

At least 717 pilgrims were killed and 863 pilgrims were injured in the crush near the Islamic holy city of Mecca, said the Saudi civil defense directorate, which provided the death toll. The tragedy struck as Muslims around the world marked the start of the Eid al-Adha holiday.

"Our Consulate General in Jeddah is verifying reports that one Filipino pilgrim died in the stampede in Mecca," Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said in a text message.

Every year, hundreds of Filipino Muslims join the pilgrimage to Mecca.

Thursday's crush happened in Mina, a large valley about 5 kilometers (3 miles) from Mecca that has been the site of hajj stampedes in years past.

READ: Saudi Arabia: Stampede at hajj kills 717 pilgrims

Mina is where pilgrims carry out a symbolic stoning of the devil by throwing pebbles against three stone columns. It also houses more than 160,000 tents where pilgrims spend the night during the pilgrimage.

Thursday's tragedy struck during a morning surge of pilgrims at the intersection of streets 204 and 223 as the faithful were making their way toward a large structure overlooking the columns, according to the Saudi civil defense directorate. — with the Associated Press

ADHA ASSOCIATED PRESS CHARLES JOSE DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS EID FILIPINO MUSLIMS FOREIGN AFFAIRS JEDDAH OUR CONSULATE GENERAL PILGRIMS SAUDI ARABIA
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