Indian toll in Haj stampede rises to 81

New Delhi, Oct 8 (IANS) The toll of Indian pilgrims killed in the stampede near Makkah in Saudi Arabia during Haj has risen to 81, the government said on Tuesday.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup told reporters that seven more Indians have been identified among the dead.

“Unfortunately, seven more Indian pilgrims have been identified as among the deceased, taking the toll of Indian pilgrims in the tragedy to 81,” he said.

The earlier toll was 74.

Swarup said Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh had gone to Jeddah to urge the authorities in Saudi Arabia to complete the identification process of the dead pilgrims at the earliest.

The minister conveyed that many missing cases were pending with the Haj mission and these will be resolved only after the identification process of all the deceased was completed.

Swarup said the Saudi authorities assured their full cooperation.

The external affairs ministry has put on its website the list of Indians who died in the Mina stampede, the list of hospitalised/injured patients and the list of Indians from the Haj committee and private tour operators missing as reported at the Indian Haj Mission.

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