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Hundreds of hajj pilgrims die amid Mecca heatwave

A photo from 2024 hajj A photo from 2024 hajj
File photo from Hajj 2024

Hundreds of people died and thousands have been treated for heatstroke while performing this year’s annual Muslim hajj pilgrimage in Mecca.

Saudi Arabia did not issue any statement on the death toll but advised pilgrims to stay hydrated and avoid going outdoors without umbrellas.

Other Islamic states said their citizens were reported dead after hundreds of people lined up at the Emergency Complex in Al-Muaisem neighbourhood in Mecca for information about missing family members.

Saudi state TV said temperatures rose to as high as 51.8 degrees Celsius in the shade at the Grand Mosque in Mecca earlier this week.

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Some 165 Indonesians, 41 Jordanians, 35 Tunisians, and 11 Iranians are among the dead, according to authorities in each country.

A further 22 Jordanians are missing and 26 Iranians have been hospitalised, the Iranian Red Crescent said on Wednesday.

The hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. All Muslims who are financially and physically able must perform the ritual at least once in their lifetimes.

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More than 1.8 million people made the pilgrimage this year, according to the Saudi General Authority for Statistics, with 1.6 million coming from abroad.

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