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51 Indians killed in Haj stampede

January 15, 2006 16:35 IST

With 203 of 363 people killed in Friday's stampede during Haj in Mina near Mecca having been identified, 51 Indians have been confirmed dead.

As the identification process continued, authorities did not rule out the possibility of this number increasing.

At least seven pilgrims remained missing and efforts were on to trace them, Indian Consul General Ausaf Sayeed told PTI over the phone from Mecca.

The Indian Consulate also began the process of burying the dead, with the last rites of four performed, he said, adding the Mission had issued 25 No-Objection Certificates needed for the burial.

Of the 51, 22 belonged to Uttar Pradesh, he said. Ten were from Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, four were from Maharashtra, six from Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, two from Rajasthan and two from West Bengal and Chhattisgarh.

The dead included three couples from Uttar Pradesh and one from Kerala. Addresses of two could not be ascertained, he said.

E Ahamed, Minister of State for External Affairs, said 42 of those killed had travelled from India while others were  staying or working in the Gulf.

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