Saudi Arabia says deaths during haj pilgrimage reach 1,301

Muslim devotees walk around the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca. File

Muslim devotees walk around the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca. File
| Photo Credit: FADEL SENNA

The number of deaths during this year’s haj pilgrimage totaled 1,301 people, Saudi Arabia’s health minister Fahad Al-Jalajel said on Sunday.

The minister, quoted by state television, said that deaths were caused by pilgrims “walking long distances under direct sunlight without adequate shelter or comfort”.

Fatalities also included a number of elderly people and those suffering from chronic diseases. Some 83% of the fatalities were among people who were not authorized to make the pilgrimage, he said.



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