Iran says return of Haj dead delayed

first_imgThe repatriation of Iranians killed in the Haj stampede in Saudi Arabia has been delayed until at least on Wednesday, officials said, citing administrative problems and difficulties in identifying victims.With the uproar over the tragedy showing no sign of easing, President Hassan Rouhani arrived back in Tehran on Tuesday having left the UN General Assembly early, after citing Saudi “incompetence” at the Haj. However the families of those who died in the crush — 228 Iranian fatalities have been confirmed — are still waiting for the ceremonial return of their loved ones. Also Read – Nine hurt in accident at fireworks show in French resort“A plane is supposed to leave for Jeddah tonight for the transfer of bodies,” said Ali Marashi, head of the Iranian Red Crescent’s medical centre in Tehran, which is organising the repatriation.But the task is proving difficult as the toll continues to rise — beyond the confirmed dead a further 227 Iranians were injured and 246 are missing.“God willing we will have the funerals tomorrow,” Marashi said on Tuesday.“As well as the previous 21 containers there are now more dead bodies. Work is very slow.” Iran’s health minister, Hassan Hashemi, arrived in Mecca early today to head the effort to return the bodies, having tried to go earlier but his plane was refused permission to land.last_img

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