Indonesian team to assist in identification of Mina victims

Indonesian team to assist in identification of Mina victims

Lukman Hakim Saifuddin (right) joint with Indonesian pilgrims in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, on Thursday (October 10, 2015). (ANTARA/Ministry of Religion of Indonesia)

I hope the number of dead victims will not rise."
Jeddah (ANTARA News) - A Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) team from the Indonesian police will help the Saudi government to identify victims, especially Indonesians who lost their lives in the recent Hajj stampede incident in Mina, an official stated.

"They will arrive tomorrow (Oct. 2) in Jeddah," Indonesian Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin noted here on Thursday before returning home after leading the Indonesian Hajj pilgrimage.

He remarked that the Indonesian DVI team comprising eight to 11 members would join the Saudi forensics team immediately upon arrival.

"I was informed by the foreign minister (Retno L.P. Marsudi) and the deputy foreign minister (Abdurrahman M. Fachir) that the Saudi government has agreed to involve our DVI team," he affirmed.

Fifty-five Indonesian pilgrims and four Indonesian citizens who had so far stayed in Saudi Arabia were found dead after the incident in Mina on September 24, 2015, while 74 Hajj pilgrims have not yet returned to their respective lodging areas, and five others are still being treated in a local government hospital.

"I hope the number of dead victims will not rise," the minister affirmed.

Minister Lukman was scheduled to return home on September 28 along with 11 other members of the Hajj leadership team but had postponed his return due to the incident to tackle the problem.

The Indonesian DVI team will help to accelerate the identification process of the dead victims that has now become increasingly difficult a week after the incident.

Arsyad Hidayat, the chief of the Mecca working area, noted that unlike before, the identification will not be carried out through photographs but will be based on fingerprint analysis.

(Reporting by Risbiani Fardaniah/Uu.H-YH/INE/B003/KR-BSR/B003)

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