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Glance At Major Hajj-Related Tragedies In Saudi Arabia

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| September 24 , 2015 , 21:35 IST
Every year, millions of Muslims converge on the Saudi holy cities of Mecca and Medina for the annual hajj pilgrimage, with the massive ceremonies representing a major security and logistical challenge for the kingdom's authorities. On occasion, the hajj and events surrounding it have been marred by accidents and tragedies, such as Thursday's stampede near Mecca that killed hundreds. Here's a look at some deadly hajj-related incidents before the 205 one: 2006: More than 360 pilgrims were killed in a stampede at the desert plain of, near Mecca, where pilgrims carry out a symbolic stoning of the devil by throwing pebbles against three stone walls. The day before the hajj began, an eight-story building being used as a hostel near the Grand Mosque in Mecca collapsed, killing at least 73 people. 2004: A crush of pilgrims killed 244 pilgrims and injures hundreds on the final day of the hajj ceremonies. 2001: A stampede at during the final day of the pilgrimage ceremonies kills 35 hajj pilgrims. 1998: About 180 pilgrims were trampled to death in panic after several of them fell off an overpass during the final stoning ritual at . 1997: At least 340 pilgrims are killed in a fire at the tent city of as the blaze was aided by high winds. More than 1,500 were injured. 1994: Some 270 pilgrims are killed in a stampede during the stoning ritual at . 1990: The worst hajj-related tragedy claims the lives of 1,426 pilgrims in a stampede in an overcrowded pedestrian tunnel leading to holy sites in Mecca.