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Toll reaches 11 as nine more Indians die in Mecca mosque accident

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

New Delhi: In the crane crash accident at the Grand Mosque in Mecca in Saudi Arabia, nine more Indian Haj pilgrims have died, taking the toll to 11 so far, the external affairs ministry said on Sunday.

Vikas Swarup, ministry spokesperson tweeted – “after opening of mortuary on Sunday evening, officials working with relatives have confirmed that nine more Indians have unfortunately died” in the accident.

He said the Indian mission in Jeddah was extending all possible assistance to the families of the 11 deceased pilgrims to complete the formalities in Mecca.

source: nbcnews
source: nbcnews

Indian officials in Mecca were continuing to provide assistance to the 19 injured Indian pilgrims, he added.

The ministry released a list of nine dead pilgrims — Mohd Hanif, Tabassum, Hassan Kharaj, Zafar Sheikh, Zakira Begum, Mohd Abdul Khadar, Fatima Begum, Shameem Bano, Khader Bee.

In Hyderabad, Telangana State Haj Committee’s special officer S.A. Shukoor told IANS that a couple, namely Abdul Khader (38) and his wife Fatima Begum (32), hailing from Krishna district in coastal Andhra Pradesh had died. They were among the nine Indian pilgrims who were identified in the mortuary.

The number of dead in the crane crash has gone up to 111 so far, while 331 people are injured.

The ministry statement revealed that the Indian mission has published its 24/7 helpline — 00966125458000, 00966125496000 — and toll free number 8002477786 for pilgrims within Saudi Arabia.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Man Accused in Christchurch Mosque Shootings Charged with Terrorism

The single charge filed Tuesday against Australian Brenton Tarrant is the first of its kind

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Man, Christchurch, Mosque, Terrorism
Brenton Tarrant, charged for murder in relation to the mosque attacks, is lead into the dock for his appearance in the Christchurch District Court, New Zealand, March 16, 2019. (Suspect's face blurred at source) VOA

Authorities in New Zealand have charged the self-avowed white supremacist who killed 51 worshippers at two Christchurch mosques back in March with terrorism.

The single charge filed Tuesday against Australian Brenton Tarrant is the first of its kind under New Zealand’s Terrorism Suppression Act, which was passed in 2002 in the wake of the al-Qaida-led terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. the previous year. Prosecutors have also charged him with an additional count of murder over a worshipper who died in the hospital earlier this month, along with two additional counts of attempted murder, bringing that number to 40.

Up to 200 family members of the victims and survivors of the attack were informed of the new charges at a private meeting with police.

The 28-year-old Tarrant live-streamed the March 15 shootings at the al-Noor and Linwood mosques on Facebook from a head-mounted camera.

Man, Christchurch, Mosque, Terrorism
Authorities in New Zealand have charged the self-avowed white supremacist who killed 51 worshippers at two Christchurch mosques. Flickr

He is currently being held at a maximum security prison where he was ordered to undergo psychiatric tests to determine if he is mentally fit to stand trial. His next court date is June 14.

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The 28-year-old Tarrant e-mailed a lengthy white nationalist manifesto to more than 30 recipients just minutes before the attacks – including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern – in which he allegedly denounced Muslims and called immigrants “invaders.” (VOA)