An aerial view shows the Grand mosque and the Kaaba (center) in Saudi Arabia's holy Muslim city of Mecca on September 25, 2015. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH
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Saudi Arabia's top religious leader says a stampede which killed 717 pilgrims was beyond human control, official media reported Saturday, the final day of this year's hajj.The stampede was the worst disaster in a quarter-century to strike the annual event and drew fierce criticism of the Saudi authorities' handling of safety, particularly from regional rival Iran.Groups of pilgrims Saturday were moving from early morning towards Jamarat Bridge for the last of three stoning days.The interior ministry has said it assigned 100,000 police to secure the hajj and manage crowds.Largely incident-free for nine years after safety improvements, this year's hajj was afflicted by double tragedy.
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