Mukherjee, Modi condole deaths at Haj stampede

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other top leaders of the country on Thursday condoled the deaths in a horrific Haj stampede in Saudi Arabia.

“Deeply saddened by tragic incident at Mina on Thursday, during which a large number of Haj pilgrims lost their lives,” the president tweeted.

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“My sincere condolences to the government of Saudi Arabia and families of the deceased pilgrims. I also wish speedy recovery to injured,” he said.

Ansari, in a message to Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Nayef, said: “We deeply mourn this tragedy and extend our heartfelt condolences to you and to the people of the Saudi Arabia.

“We express our solemn thoughts and pray in this hour of grief for the departed souls.”

Modi, in his message from the US, said: “Distressing news from Mecca. Pained at loss of lives due to the stampede. Condolences to families of the deceased and prayers with the injured.”

Finance Minister Aurn Jaitley and Congress president Sonia Gandhi also mourned the deaths.

“My condolences to the families who lost their dear ones today (Thursday) in an unfortunate stampede during Haj. May the departed souls rest in peace,” Jaitley wrote on his Twitter-handle.

The Congress president said she prayed for the well being of the pilgrims and hoped that the Indian citizens in Mina were safe.

Over 700 people were killed in the stampede on Thursday that also left more than 800 pilgrims injured.