Confusion surrounds the final death toll of the hajj crush and stampede in Saudi Arabia on 24 September, with discrepancies among official figures, those given to foreign diplomats and other reports.
The Saudi Health Ministry denied on Twitter a report on Iran's mouthpiece Press TV that the number of deaths jumped to 4,173. The astonishing figure was posted on the old ministry's website, possibly by a hacker.
As of now, the official figures released by the health ministry put the death toll at 769 people killed and 934 injured. But Indian and Pakistani authorities said that Riyadh authorities have given foreign diplomats some 1,100 photographs of the dead from the incident.
Tariq Fazal Chaudhary, an MP in Pakistan's governing PML-N party, said Saudi officials gave diplomats 1,100 pictures of the dead from the Mina stampede. "This is the official figure of martyrs from Saudi officials, given for the identification process," Chaudhary said.
The comments seem to confirm those of Indian External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj. "Saudi authorities have released photos of 1,090 pilgrims who have died in (the hajj) stampede," Swaraj wrote on Twitter.
The Saudi civil defence said two groups of thousands of pilgrims walking towards the three Jamarat pillars collided at the junction of Street 204 and Street 223 because of a sudden increase in the number of people, causing the tragedy. Saudi King Salman ordered a swift investigation, chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, into the incident and admitted there was a need "to improve the level of organisation and management of movement" of pilgrims.
Saudi arch-enemy in the region, Iran, has criticised the country for what president Hassan Rouhani called "incompetence and mismanagement" of the hajj.
Indonesia, the Muslim world's most populous country, complained that Saudi authorities did not grant it full access to the dead and injured after the crush. Lalu Mohammad Iqbal, an official in Indonesia's foreign ministry, said 46 Indonesian pilgrims died in the Mina crush, but no forensic records were available to see.
Lukman Hakim Saifuddin, Indonesia's religious affairs minister, said in a statement that Indonesians did not have free access to hospitals to search for their injured countrymen. "The Saudi Arabian government has its own regulation, tradition, culture and procedures in dealing with such cases," Saifuddin said from Mecca. "This has not allowed us enough freedom in our effort to identify the victims."
The incident is the worst tragedy at hajj for 25 years and the deadliest since 1990, when more than 1,400 worshippers died.