A Nigerian official told BBC that the death toll in last week’s stampede at the Hajj festival outside Mecca is 1,075 and not 769 as claimed by Saudi Arabia.
Iran claimed that 4,000 Muslims, including 200 Iranians, were killed in the disaster that has embarrassed the kingdom.
The Nigerian official based his report on the number of bodies taken to mortuaries, and officials from other countries also said the death toll was almost 1,100.
The kingdom responded that the higher counts include those who died from together reasons and not in the stampede, but none of the estimates come close to the amount claimed by Iran.
The Islamic Republic has used the stampede as a platform for propaganda against Saudi Arabia, which quietly opposed the P5+1 nuclear agreement with Iran and which has led a strike force to bomb Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei on Wednesday called on Islamic countries to form a fact-finding committee, and said:
Saudi government is not complying with its responsibilities to transfer the bodies of those who have been killed (in Mina stampede)….
The slightest disrespect for tens of thousands of Iranian Hajj pilgrims in Mecca and Medina and any lack of responsibility to transfer the bodies will result in Iran’s crushing and violent reaction.
The leader of one of the world’s grossest offenders of human rights added:
The Islamic Republic of Iran doesn’t practice cruelty but it also doesn’t accept anyone’s oppression and cruelty; therefore, it doesn’t trample on the rights of any human beings and nations, either Muslim or non-Muslim, but if anyone wants to trample Iran and its nation’s rights, he/she will receive a strong response.
Below is a video of the aftermath of the stampede. [Warning: graphic scenes not suited for children.]