Death toll among Egyptian pilgrims reaches 14 in hajj stampede

Ahram Online , Friday 25 Sep 2015

Thirty-one Egyptian pilgrims were injured in the stampede

Saudi Arabia
Pilgrims walk by the site where pilgrims were crushed and trampled to death during the annual hajj pilgrimage in Mina, Saudi Arabia, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015 (AP)

Fourteen Egyptian pilgrims were killed in Thursday's deadly stampede during the hajj ritual near Mecca in Saudi Arabia, Minister of Endowments Mokhtar Gomaa said on Friday.

Thirty-one Egyptian pilgrims were injured in the stampede.

The minister added that he will announce any new details, including the names of the injured, after the medical delegation completes the identification process.

Gomaa said that the deputy of the Egyptian interior minister responsible for hajj affairs, Sayed Maher, and representatives from the Egyptian embassy in Saudi Arabia are following up with on the condition of the injured.

Gomaa and Egypt’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia Afifi Abdel-Wahab are set to attend a reception held by Saudi King Salman to meet ambassadors and heads of delegations following Friday’s prayers, MENA reported.

The stampede occurred as pilgrims converged on the site of Mena just outside Mecca to take part in the symbolic stoning of the devil that marks the last day of the hajj. The ritual involves pilgrims throwing pebbles at one of three pillars representing Satan.

An estimated 62,000 Egyptians are performing the pilgrimage this year.

At least 717 people were killed and 863 were injured in the incident, Saudi Arabia’s Civil Defence Service said. It was initially reported that eight Egyptian pilgrims were killed before the death toll rose.

Almost two million pilgrims took part in the stoning ritual this year.

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

On 11 September, five Egyptians were among the 107 people killed when a massive construction crane crashed into Mecca's Grand Mosque during stormy weather. 

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