2006 News Story

Interior Minister calls for steps to avoid future tragedies at Jamarat

Minister of Interior Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz offered his condolences to the families of the victims of the Jamarat Bridge stampede yesterday. He also called for two important steps to be taken in order to prevent such a tragedy in the future.

First, Prince Nayef urged religious scholars in the Kingdom and abroad to find a way within Islam to extend the duration of the stoning ritual at Jamarat. Second, he called for enhanced organization and guidance both in Saudi Arabia and abroad in order to educate pilgrims of the importance of keeping calm while performing the stoning ritual, not disturbing each other, taking advantage of the entire time allotted to the ritual, and not crowding, since one person’s fall causes others to panic.

Prince Nayef said he ordered the creation of committees to accurately identify the reasons for the stampede. The Supreme Hajj Commission will review the reports and find practical solutions in order to prevent similar tragedies in future pilgrimages.

Saudi security forces have engaged in intensive efforts to protect pilgrims and ensure their safety, Prince Nayef said. While this year’s security presence was very large, it will be increased for future pilgrimages.