Tue Oct 20, 2015 8:2AM
Pakistani relatives mourn on the arrival of the body of a Pakistani pilgrim, killed in the September 24 crush near the Saudi city of Mecca, in Multan, Pakistan, October 5, 2015. (Photo by AFP)
Pakistani relatives mourn on the arrival of the body of a Pakistani pilgrim, killed in the September 24 crush near the Saudi city of Mecca, in Multan, Pakistan, October 5, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

A Western news agency has been offering updated tallies of the victims of a crush outside the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, each time contradicting the official figure that Riyadh has announced and has persistently refused to update since the tragedy.

The Associated Press (AP) has been releasing counts based on the official tolls announced by some of the countries whose national died in the September 24 crush in Mina, near Mecca.

Its latest tally on Tuesday, based on state media reports and official comments from 30 countries, stood at over 2,177 deaths.

“The toll keeps rising from the Sept. 24 disaster outside Mecca as individual countries identify bodies and work to determine the whereabouts of hundreds of pilgrims still missing,” the agency said.

Saudi authorities have said the fatalities from the incident stand at 769. They “have yet to address the discrepancy,” the AP report said.

Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization says a total of at least 4,700 people lost their lives in the incident.

The number of the Iranian fatalities is at least 464, exceeding that of other countries.

Next come Mali, Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger, and Senegal, which respectively lost 254, 199, 76, 72, 72, and 61 pilgrims in the tragedy.

The rest of the victims come, among other countries, from Ivory Coast, Benin, Egypt, Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Chad, Morocco, Algeria, Sudan, Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Somalia, Kenya, Ghana, Turkey, Myanmar, Libya, China, Afghanistan, Jordan, and Malaysia.