(Associated Press) The death toll in the Saudi hajj disaster rose sharply Thursday as Iran announced 465 of its pilgrims died in last week's stampede and crush, nearly doubling its earlier count and likely further straining relations between the two Mideast rivals.
And while Saudi officials previously said the tragedy killed 769 pilgrims, an Associated Press count based on official figures from countries around the world shows at least 999 people perished near Islam's holy city of Mecca.
The total figure could be even larger as the AP survey covered only 15 of the more than 180 countries that sent some 2 million pilgrims to the annual pilgrimage, a pillar of Islamic faith. Pakistan, India, Indonesia and Iran all have said the toll may be higher than what the kingdom has presented.
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