Egyptian pilgrims missing in Mecca stampede rises to 110 with 126 dead

Ahram Online , Saturday 3 Oct 2015

The number of Egyptian pilgrims reported missing climbed from 72 to 110; DNA testing commenced Monday to identify unclaimed dead

Members of Saudi Red Crescent tend to pilgrims who were victims of a crush caused by large numbers of people pushing at Mina, outside the Muslim holy city of Mecca in this handout picture published on Facebook account of the Saudi Red Crescent September 24, 2015 (Reuters)

The number of Egyptian pilgrims who were reported missing in Saudi Arabia's Mecca stampede has climbed from 72 to 110, Egyptian Minister of Health Ahmed Emad El-Din told state news agency MENA late Friday.

Two more bodies were identified, raising the number of dead to 126, El-Din said during an official visit to Saudi Arabia.

An additional fourteen Egyptians were injured.

The stampede occurred Thursday, 24 September, as pilgrims converged in Mena, just outside Mecca, to take part in a ritual involving the symbolic stoning of the devil.

Starting Monday, DNA samples will be taken from the families of missing Egyptians who travelled to Mecca to do hajj. These samples will be used to identify unclaimed corpses.

Saudi authorities said that 769 pilgrims were killed in the stampede, drawn from various nationalities, with at least 934 injured.

However, foreign officials and media have calculated the death toll higher, saying that it currently stands at 1,030 pilgrims dead, AFP reported.

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

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