More than 700 people taking part in the Hajj pilgrimage have been killed and a further 800 injured in a stampede near the Islamic holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabian officials say.
Image copyright AP Image caption Pilgrims were on their way to the three Jamarat pillars when the stampede happened, the Saudi civil defence directorate said
The crush happened at Mina, which is the location for a key ritual – symbolically stoning the devil by throwing pebbles against three pillars.
Image copyright AFP/Getty Image caption A sudden increase in numbers resulted in a “stampede among the pilgrims and the collapse of a large number of them”, the directorate added
Image copyright Reuters/Saudi Red Crescent Image caption Security personnel and the Saudi Red Crescent were sent to help those affected and prevent further casualties
Image copyright AP Image caption The crush happened in Mina, a large valley about 5km from Mecca that has been the site of past stampedes
Image copyright AFP/Getty Image caption Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry said the crush appeared to have been caused by two waves of pilgrims meeting at an intersection
Image copyright AP Image caption Saudi Arabia’s health minister, Khaled al-Falih, said the crush occurred because some pilgrims failed to follow directions
Image copyright Reuters/Saudi Red Crescent Image caption The disaster was the deadliest on the annual pilgrimage in more than two decades, and came nearly two weeks after a crane collapsed in Mecca, killing 100 people
Image copyright AP Image caption The tragedy happened on the day Muslims around the world are celebrating the festival of Eid al-Adha – the festival of sacrifice