Egyptian death toll in Mecca hajj stampede rises to 78

Ahram Online , Tuesday 29 Sep 2015

The deadly stampede occurred last week in Mena, outside Mecca, as pilgrims performed the last hajj ritual

Saudi Arabia
Emergency services attend to victims of a crush in Mina, Saudi Arabia during the annual hajj pilgrimage on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015. Hundreds were killed and injured, Saudi authorities said. The crush happened in Mina, a large valley about five kilometers (three miles) from the holy city of Mecca that has been the site of hajj stampedes in years past. (AP)

The number of Egyptian pilgrims confirmed as being killed in the deadly stampede in Mecca last week has risen 78, Al-Ahram Arabic website reported on Tuesday.

Religious Endowment Minister Mohamed Gomaa, head of Egypt's hajj 2015 delegation, had announced on Monday that the number had risen from 55 as of Sunday account to 74 as of Monday.

Gomaa had added on Monday that the number of Egyptians unaccounted for had decreased from 120 to 98.

The stampede occurred on Thursday last week as pilgrims converged at Mena, just outside Mecca, to take part in the symbolic stoning of the devil.

Almost two million pilgrims took part in the stoning ritual this year, with an estimated 62,000 Egyptians performing hajj in 2015.

Hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam, should be performed at least once by any Muslim who can afford the trip.

The Saudi authorities have opened an official investigation into the stampede, and vowed to review hajj regulations.

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