35 Pakistanis: Death toll tops 1,000 after Hajj marked by extreme heat

World Jun, 21 2024
35 Pakistanis: Death toll tops 1,000 after Hajj marked by extreme heat
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MAKKAH:  Death toll from this year's Hajj has exceeded 1,000, an AFP tally said, more than half of them unregistered worshippers who performed pilgrimage in extreme heat in Saudi Arabia.

At least 35 Pakistanis have lost their lives while performing Hajj this year due to extreme weather conditions, Ministry of Religious Affairs confirmed.  New deaths reported on Thursday included 58 from Egypt, according to an Arab diplomat who provided a breakdown showing that of 658 Egyptians who passed away, 630 were unregistered pilgrims.

All told, around 10 countries have reported 1,081 deaths during annual pilgrimage, one of five pillars of Islam which all Muslims with means must complete at least once.

Figures have come via official statements or from diplomats working on their countries' responses. National meteorological centre reported high of 51.8 degree Celsius this week at Makkah's Grand Masjid.

Saudi authorities reported clearing hundreds of thousands of unregistered pilgrims from Makkah this month, but it appears many still participated in main rites which began last Friday. "People were tired after being chased by security forces before Arafat day. They were exhausted," one Arab diplomat told AFP on Thursday, referring to Saturday's day-long outdoor prayers that marked Haj's climax.

Indonesia, which had around 240,000 pilgrims, raised its death toll to 183, according to ministry of religious affairs, compared with 313 deaths recorded last year. Deaths have also been confirmed by Malaysia, India, Jordan, Iran, Senegal, Tunisia, Sudan and Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region. In many cases, authorities have not specified cause.

Saudi Arabia has not provided information on fatalities, though it reported more than 2,700 cases of "Heat exhaustion" on Sunday alone. Last year, various countries reported more than 300 deaths during the hajj.

Published in The Daily National Courier, June, 21 2024

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NC Monitoring Desk
NC Monitoring Desk https://www.dailynationalcourier.com/author/nc-monitoring-desk
Daily National Courier is a leading morning English newspaper of twelve pages covering all international and national political developments on 24/7 basis.

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