Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 26th 2015 Contents A5
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The first batch of Trinis
who survived the horrific
stampede in Mecca, which left
717 pilgrims dead and 863
wounded, will return home
Relieved families will gather
at the Piarco International Air-
port to welcome the group
Founder and chairman of
Caribbean Hajj, Zabar
Mohammed Baksh, said the sec-
ond group would return on
October 1 while the last two
groups would return within a
Asked whether he believed
Trinis would be reluctant to go
to Saudi Arabia for Hajj in future
because of the stampede, Baksh
"Muslims are not afraid to
die. The time for life and death
is determined by Allah alone and
we are not afraid of death,"
Baksh told the T&T Guardian
He said the latest stampede
was caused by the convergence
of two groups who were not
supposed to meet at the same
"They didn t follow the rules
of the Saudi government and
this is what caused the prob-
lems," Baksh said.
He noted that the trip to Hajj
had improved significantly since
he first attended the event in
"The Saudi government has
done yeoman service by erecting
a five-storey building and
deploying massive police and a
schedule. We cannot blame the
Saudi authorities for this," Baksh
He said between 240 and 300
Trinis go to Hajj every year.
Foreign Affairs Minister Den-
nis Moses is currently out of the
country, having left on Wednes-
day to attend the 70th United
Nations General Assembly in
New York next week.
Both Prime Minister Dr Keith
Rowley and Opposition Leader
Kamla Persad-Bissessar extend-
ed condolences to the affected
families on Thursday hours after
the stampede occurred.
Trinis return tomorrow
Deadly Mecca stampede
A Saudi security guard sprays water over pilgrims to cool them down as they walk back to their tents after casting stones at Jamarat
pillars, a ritual that symbolises the stoning of Satan, during the annual pilgrimage known as the Hajj, in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca,
Saudi Arabia, yesterday. AP PHOTO
Police are yet to find a motive behind the
killing of taxi driver Gordon Boney, who was
shot dead while gambling at a bar close to his
home on Republic Day.
Boney, 34, of Caratal Road, Gasparillo, died
at the San Fernando General Hospital less than
an hour after he was shot several times at Anil s
Bar in Gasparillo.
Police said around 5 pm, Boney and four
friends were playing on a roulette machine when
a masked man walked up to Boney and began
firing at point blank range. Boney was hit in
the chest and fell to the ground. His attacker
ran out the bar and jumped into a waiting car,
which then sped off.
Boney was rushed to hospital but died while
undergoing emergency surgery.
At Boney s home yesterday, his mother Lynette
said she was still puzzled as to why her son was
"I want to ask the killer why he did this? He
never give life to my son, so why should he take
a life? You have to be really insane to watch a
man and kill him just so," she said.
She added that Boney s four children, aged
eight years to seven months, would now have
to grow up without a father.
Lynette said Boney worked as a taxi driver
but his car s engine got damaged so he had to
stop working until he could get it fixed. She
said he also worked as a mason.
"He was hard working. He used to talk a bit
loud but mostly he used to help people," Lynette
She said Boney s wife Eifa and their children
had moved out of their home since the killing.
Anyone with information on the murder can
contact Crime Stoppers at 800-TIPS or call the
Gasparillo Police Station at 650-2193 or 650-
down at bar
Al Arabiya News reported
yesterday that the stampede
was the deadliest to strike
the annual Hajj pilgrimage
since 1990, where 1,426
Muslim pilgrims were
trampled to death.
began during a morning surge
of pilgrims at an intersection
between Streets 204 and
223, as the pilgrims were
making their way toward a
large structure overlooking
The multi-storey structure,
known as Jamarat Bridge, is
designed to ease the pressure
of the crowds and prevent
pilgrims from being trampled.
Saudi Interior Ministry
spokesman Maj Gen Mansour
al-Turki told reporters that
the street in which the
stampede took place
high numbers of pilgrims"
compared to previous years.
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