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El-Sisi following news of Egyptian Hajj pilgrims: Official

15 Egyptians have died so far in the annual pilgrimage, which often sees deaths as a result of crowd stampedes and fatigue

Ahram Online , Friday 3 Oct 2014
Saudi Arabia
Muslim pilgrims gather at Mount Arafat during the annual pilgrimage, known as the hajj, near Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Friday, Oct. 3 (Photo: AP)
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Egyptian officials were keen to stress that President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi himself is following news of the Hajj pilgrimage closely to ensure that Egyptians making the arduous journey have everything they need.

According to daily state-affiliated newspaper Al-Ahram, an aide to the interior minister aide who is the part of Egypt's official Hajj delegation said El-Sisi is being updated daily about the condition of pilgrims and has directly asked that their trip be made as easy as possible, instructing the Hajj delegation of the interior ministry to do its best to serve them.

Fifteen Egyptian pilgrims have died in the pilgrimage so far, as announced by an interior ministry official on Thursday.

Dozens of pilgrims die while on Hajj every year, typically of fatigue or in crowd stampedes. The elderly are particularly vulnerable.

Over 62,000 Egyptian pilgrims are on Friday making their way up Mount Arafat in Saudi Arabia's Mecca, the most significant ritual in the annual Islamic Hajj pilgrimage, reputedly the largest gathering of people at a single location.

Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, along with several Egyptian ministers, including Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim, is making the pilgrimage this year, reported Al-Ahram.

Saudi Arabian authorities are expecting 3 million pilgrims this year, roughly a million more than last year's pilgrimage which was marred by fears of the deadly MERS virus which first spread in the kingdom.

Egypt's state delegation for the Hajj has urged pilgrims to avoid overly crowded areas on Arafat and instructed its supervisors to help the elderly and sick perform the Hajj rites.

As one of the five major pillars of Islam, Hajj must be performed at least once in a lifetime by all Muslims who can afford the costly trip.

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