Muslim pilgrims pray around the holy Kaaba during their final circling at the Grand Mosque during the annual hajj pilgrimage for this year in Mecca October 6, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
The number of Egyptian pilgrims who died of natural causes while performing the hajj in Saudi Arabia this year climbed to 28 on Monday, Egyptian state news agency MENA reported.
Of the estimated 80,000 Egyptian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia this year, 19 are currently receiving treatment in Saudi hospitals due to heat exhaustion, high blood pressure and hypertension.
The death of pilgrims on the hajj due to heat exhaustion, fatigue and other natural causes is not uncommon.
Fatal crowd stampedes are also regular occurrences due to the high number of people along the pilgrimage route.
The hajj and the lesser umrah pilgrimages bring millions of Muslims to Saudi Arabia from around the globe every year.
One of the five pillars of Islam, the hajj must be performed at least once in a lifetime by all Muslims who can afford the costly and difficult trip