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Hajj death toll rises to 769, Iran denounces 'crime'

Updated: 2015-09-27 09:38

Hajj death toll rises to 769, Iran denounces 'crime'

Worshipers chant slogans during a protest against Saudi Arabia after Thursday's crush that killed 136 Iranians at the hajj pilgrimage, following Friday prayers in Tehran September 25, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

Speaking to the country's crown prince Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, top Saudi cleric Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh said he did not hold authorities responsible for the disaster.

"You are not responsible for what happened. You dealt with the beneficial factors that were in your hands and within your ability. As for the things that humans cannot control, you cannot blamed for them. Fate and destiny are inevitable," Al al-Sheikh, known as the Grand Mufti, said in a televised statement.

Al al-Sheikh also appeared to deflect criticisms of the kingdom from outside as a product of "envy."

"Many are envious of the kingdom for its religion, leadership, economy and the cohesion of its members, and for the great blessings it has experienced, unlike many other countries," he said.

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