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Two back-to-back tragedies in September this year have put a huge question mark over Saudi Arabia’s preparedness to host the biggest congregation of Muslims during the annual Hajj pilgrimage. A construction crane crashed through the roof of the Grand Mosque in Mecca on September 11 as the city was preparing to welcome the faithful, killing 107 people and injuring more than 200. As many as 769 pilgrims lost their lives and 934 were injured in the second incident on September 24 in a stampede when pilgrims were engaged in the Stoning of the Devil, a Hajj ritual of flinging pebbles at three walls, known as Jamarat in Mina. Reports and eye witness accounts suggested that poor crowd control measures resulted in the stampede, the worst to hit the holy city in a quarter century. Iran los...

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