At least 550 pilgrims died due to intense heat during hajj, diplomats say

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At least 550 pilgrims died due to intense heat during hajj, diplomats say

YEREVAN, JUNE 19, ARMENPRESS. At least 550 pilgrims died during the hajj in Saudi Arabia because of scorching temperatures this year, France 24 reports.

At least 323 of those who died were Egyptians, most of them succumbing to heat-related illnesses, two Arab diplomats coordinating their countries' responses told AFP.

"All of them (the Egyptians) died because of heat" except for one who sustained fatal injuries during a minor crowd crush, one of the diplomats said, adding the total figure came from the hospital morgue in the Al-Muaisem neighbourhood of Mecca.

At least 60 Jordanians also died, the diplomats said.

And Pir Hossein Kolivand, head of the Red Crescent Society of Iran said on Tuesday that at least 11 pilgrims from Iran had died.

Temperatures hit 51.8 degrees Celsius (125 Fahrenheit) at the Grand Mosque in Mecca on Monday, the Saudi national meteorology centre said.

The hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and all Muslims with the means must complete it at least once.

Around 1.8 million pilgrims took part in the hajj this year, 1.6 million of them from abroad, according to Saudi authorities.


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