Senegal declares 3 days of mourning as fire death toll rises

2017-04-14 22:34


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Dakar - Senegal announced three days of mourning on Friday for the victims of a massive fire at a Muslim religious retreat this week, as the death toll from the catastrophe rose to 25.

The blaze broke out on Wednesday afternoon as worshippers belonging to the Tijaniyya Muslim group gathered near the town of Medina Gounass in southeastern Senegal, engulfing straw shelters erected for the pilgrims.

President Macky Sall visited the site on Friday and confirmed that Gambians and Mauritanians were also among the victims in footage broadcast on Senegal's RTS television.

"Taking account of the number of victims, as this morning another has passed away, we now have 25 dead and I have decided to announce today three days of national mourning, with flags flying at half-mast," Sall said.

Senegalese media reported on Friday that police suspect a gas canister exploded as the pilgrims prepared tea at the retreat site.

Members of the powerful Tijaniyya Muslim brotherhood gather in their thousands to worship at the site every year. Pilgrims were weighed down with food and luggage, local media reported.

Around 95% of Senegal's population is Muslim and most men join Sufi brotherhoods that combine Islam with distinctive local beliefs.

Read more on:    senegal  |  religion  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.