No Malaysians involved in Mecca stampede

PETALING JAYA - No Malaysian pilgrims are believed to have been killed or hurt in a stampede in Mina, outside the holy city of Mecca, as the time and location of the incident does not match the timetable for pilgrims set by Tabung Haji.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom however said that Tabung Haji volunteers are still monitoring the situation and conducting a headcount of pilgrims

"Based on the timetable set by Tabung Haji, our pilgrims are not supposed to be there. The incident happened at around 11am local time and based on our timetable, our pilgrims were only supposed to throw the stones after Asar.

"However, we are ascertaining the number of Malaysian pilgrims by doing a headcount from camp to camp," he told mStar Online.

Jamil Khir said early information indicates that the incident had occurred outside the area usually used by Malaysian pilgrims.

"Pilgrims come from different corners to throw but the incident area is far and outside of the Malaysian pilgrims' residential area," he said.

He added that while most Malaysian pilgrims are in their respective camps, some others had gone to meet with pilgrims at other camps.

"Some also went to the international pilgrim camps, so we can't give a definite time on when the headcount will be concluded," he said.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dasuki, who is in Mecca, also confirmed that no Malaysian were killed in the stampede that has so far claimed at least 310 lives and left 450 people injured.

"Based on what our volunteers have said, no pilgrims have gone outside of the area. We are currently conducting a headcount and we hope that nothing has happened to the Malaysian pilgrims," he said at a press conference in Mecca on Thursday.

"We urge pilgrims to follow the instructions of the volunteers and not listen to rumours," he added.

Tabung Haji said it would provide information and updates from time to time.