Minister of Interior Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, as head of the Supreme Hajj Committee, announced on Thursday that the 1423 Hajj pilgrimage was one of the best ever. Commenting on the tragic incident at Mina, he expressed regret that this was misrepresented as happening at the 'Jamarat' [the place of throwing pebbles], and pointed out that the fatal accident took place in a crowded marketplace.
Prince Nayef went on to urge Muslims who have performed Hajj before, to give a chance to their Muslim brothers who have not; this, he said, will help ease crowding in the Holy Places. The prescribed duty for a Muslim is to perform Hajj once in his or her lifetime but doing Hajj more than once is voluntary.
Meanwhile, Minister of Health Dr. Osama Shobokshi reported today that this year's Hajj was free from any epidemic or contagious disease, and that pilgrims' health conditions were generally very good.