JAKARTA, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia officially offered assistance to help Saudi Arabia in identifying bodies of hundreds of hajj pilgrims killed in Thursday's stampede during the conduction of a hajj procession in Mina, a statement released by Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry said here on Tuesday.
The offer was conveyed by Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi during her meeting with her Saudi counterpart Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir on the sidelines of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York, the United States.
"Minister Retno conveyed Indonesia's readiness to assist further handling on bodies (killed in the stampede) if requested by Saudi Arabian government, including in body identification process," the statement said.
Given its profound experiences to handle impacts of disasters at home, Indonesia has recognizable capability to further handle identification, data collection on massive number of people killed in calamities.
According to the statement, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al Jubeir warmly welcomed Indonesia's offer, saying that he would immediately ask further directions from King Salman regarding the offer.
Indonesia sees increasing number of its nationals killed in the stampede as further identification process carried out by its task force to manage domestic hajj pilgrims (PPIH) is underway at the moment.
As of Tuesday, the PPIH has identified 46 Indonesian fatalities from the stampede that killed 769 people and injured 900 others.
The figure of Indonesians killed in the stampede was feared to increase as more than 80 pilgrims were still missing. The PPIH previously reported 44 already identified on Monday, increased from 34 and 3 it reported in the previous days.
Those who eventually found dead and declared missing were the ones who did not show up in their tents after the deadly stampede of pilgrims whom on their way to the Jamarat building, the place of 'stoning the devil' procession.
"The calamity was not a disaster to Saudi Arabia, but it was a disaster for all of us. If Saudi Arabia requested for a help, it was appropriately for Indonesia to heed up the request. After all Indonesia sends the largest number of hajj pilgrims," the statement said.
Indonesia has the world's largest Muslim population and therefore sends the largest number of hajj pilgrims to Saudi Arabia. Indonesia sent more than 168,000 hajj pilgrims this year.
Apart from the deadly stampede, Indonesia also recorded 10 fatalities from the collapsed crane incident in the holy mosque of Masjidil Haram, Mecca, Saudi Arabia on Sept. 9 that totally killed 107 pilgrims.