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Stoke City striker Mame Biram Diouf learns his mother died during Mecca disaster



Stoke City striker Mame Biram Diouf has been informed that his mother was among those who died in the crush on the outskirts of Mecca last month.

The disaster happened during the annual Hajj pilgrimage on September 24, with more than 700 people killed as a result of a stampede in the city of Mina.

Diouf’s mother, Gnilane, was attending a ritual called ‘stoning the devil’, where pebbles are thrown at large pillars.

Mame Biram Diouf (left) races against Aston Villa’s Jordan Amavi during Stoke’s 1-0 win last weekend

Diouf’s sister was also taking part in the pilgrimage but she escaped with minor injuries.

The crush occurred on the first day of the Eid al-Adha festival on a road between two pilgrim camps.

More than 220 ambulances and 4,000 rescue workers were sent to the area to help, with Saudi authorities later reporting that 717 people died and another 850 were injured.

King Salman has ordered a probe into the cause of the stampede, which was the second tragedy to hit the area in a fortnight after the collapse of a construction crane at Mecca’s Grand Mosque killed over 100 people.

Gnilane Diouf’s body was identified on Monday and in a statement on Tuesday, the club said: ‘Stoke wish to extend sincere condolences to Mame Diouf following the tragic death of his mother.

‘The club will provide Mame with all the support he needs at this extremely difficult time and our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family and friends.

Around two million people took part in this year’s Hajj pilgrimage, making it the largest gathering in the world.

Stoke travel to Swansea in their first game after the international break but it is not yet known whether Diouf will be available.

The former Manchester United forward started Saturday’s 1-0 win at Aston Villa but was replaced shortly before full-time after suffering an injury.

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