According to The Guardian, at least 717 people have been crushed to death in a stampede outside Mecca and more than 850 injured in the deadliest disaster on the annual hajj pilgrimage in a quarter of a century.
Panic broke out when two groups of pilgrims preparing for one of the last major rites of their trip collided at the intersection of two narrow streets. Within minutes the tarmac was a macabre jumble of dishevelled, partially clothed bodies.
The disaster revived questions about Saudi Arabia's ability to manage the world's largest annual migration, and the tragedy turned political as officials and diplomats began trading recriminations even before rescue operations had wound up.
The Saudi monarch, King Salman, ordered a review of the kingdom's plans for the hajj after the disaster. Speaking in a live speech broadcast by Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television, he also said he had asked for a swift investigation into what he described as a painful incident.