8 Stories

65 Dead in Mecca Crane Collapse

Construction accident occurs as holy city prepares for annual pilgrimage

(Newser) - A crane crashed through the roof of the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca today, Saudi Arabia officials announced. The death toll from the tragedy currently sits at 65, the BBC reports. Details are few, but the crane collapsed as Mecca prepares for the yearly Muslim Hajj... More »

Feds Sue District for Denying Teacher's Muslim Pilgrimage

Instructor was forced to quit to perform Hajj

(Newser) - The Justice Department is suing a Chicago school for not allowing a Muslim teacher an unpaid break from work to perform the Hajj pilgrimage, AOL News reports. Math teacher Safoorah Khan asked for two weeks off in 2008 to visit Mecca in Saudi Arabia. The school denied her request because... More »

Bomb Threat Clears Lourdes

Hoax strikes on Feast of the Assumption

(Newser) - Some 30,000 Catholic pilgrims, many of them disabled or ailing, had to flee the Lourdes pilgrimage site in France yesterday because of a bomb scare on the Feast of the Assumption, one of the site's busiest days of the year. A phone call to police warning that four bombs... More »

Key Iranian Nuclear Scientist Defects to US

CIA officials see 'intelligence coup' in Shahram Amiri

(Newser) - A key Iranian nuclear scientist who disappeared last year while on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, in fact defected to the CIA, which has resettled Shahram Amiri in the US, sources tell ABC News . The sources call the defection “an intelligence coup” for the agency, which has long sought... More »

Religious Tourists Still Flocking to Italy

Easter likely to see 100,000 in St. Peter's Square

(Newser) - While industries around the world feel the weight of recession, Italy’s religious tourism appears fairly immune, USA Today reports. “It's one of the only areas where things haven't slowed down much," said a religious tour marketer. "Religious pilgrims still want to have the same experiences”—... More »

Dozens Killed in Iraqi Pilgrimage Bombing

Woman bomber hid explosives under abaya

(Newser) - At least 40 people were killed and 70 injured today when a female suicide bomber with explosives tucked under her abaya attacked a Shia pilgrimage in northwest Baghdad, CNN reports. Many of the dead were women and included Iranians marking the Shia holy period of Ashura. The bomber apparently targeted... More »

Attacks on Shiite Pilgrims Jeopardize Sadr Ceasefire

Bombings continue with wheelchair attack

(Newser) - A wave of violence against Shiite pilgrims continued today, with at least seven dying in a pair of roadside bombings, and nerves fraying over an unpopular ceasefire. Shiites are observing one of their most sacred holidays despite a spate of attacks—today's plus at least three yesterday—that are straining... More »

40 Iraq Shiite Pilgrims Killed in Blast

Tent explodes as pilgrims take a break during a days-long trek

(Newser) - At least 40 people were killed today when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive vest amid a crowd of Shiite pilgrims during a trek south of Baghdad. A tent where the marchers stopped for food exploded in Iskandariyah in the second attack on Arbaeen, a day when millions descend on... More »

8 Stories