TEHRAN: A total of 131 Iranians were among more than 700 pilgrims killed in a stampede at the annual Hajj, the head of the country's pilgrimage organisation said on Friday.
Said Ohadi told the official IRNA news agency that the death toll could rise as 60 Iranians were also injured in Thursday's crush, the worst tragedy to strike the hajj in a quarter of a century.
Read: PM, president express condolences for Hajj stampede victims
Iranian leaders have been deeply critical of the Saudi authorities over what they charge were flawed crowd control measures.
"The government of Saudi Arabia must accept the huge responsibility for this catastrophe," Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said.
Khamenei blamed "improper measures" and "mismanagement" by Saudi authorities, who he said "must accept the huge responsibility for this catastrophe".
Condolences came from capitals around the region and the globe, including from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, while Pope Francis expressed solidarity with Muslims and voiced the "closeness of the church" in the face of the tragedy.
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