Lebanese imam among dead from hajj stampede

Lebanese imam among dead from hajj stampede

The body of a Lebanese man who went missing after last month’s hajj stampede in Saudi Arabia was identified Thursday, Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television has reported. He is the only Lebanese national confirmed to have been killed in the incident.

The body of a Lebanese man who went missing after last month’s hajj stampede in Saudi Arabia was identified Thursday, Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television has reported. He is the only Lebanese national confirmed to have been killed in the incident.

The body of Sayyed Haydar Hasani, the imam of the southern Lebanese village of Markaba, was identified after a DNA test more than a month after the incident occurred during the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mina, just outside Mecca.

All other Lebanese citizens who participated in this year’s hajj have been accounted for.

Hasani family’s sources cited by the Shafaqna news agency said they were in the process of returning the body to Lebanon.

Hasani’s son, Sayyed Ali, was the only Lebanese reported to have been injured in the accident.

“I was looking for my father, it only took seconds and I fell down,” he told Al-Manar earlier this month.

Tallies conducted by the AP, AFP, and Reuters put the death toll from the Sept. 24 stampede at more than 2,000, making it the deadliest hajj stampede in history.

Saudi Arabia’s official death toll of 769 has remained unchanged since two days following the accident.

Ibrahim Itani, head of the Hajj Affairs Committee, told The Daily Star that the Saudi authorities would inform Lebanon’s consul of the situation, who will then take the necessary measures.

“We [the Hajj Affairs Committee] can no longer take the initiative to work on burying him, because we are no longer in Saudi Arabia,” Itani explained.

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