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The New Arab

Muslim pilgrims die in Saudi Arabia as Hajj begins

The annual Hajj pilgrimage draws around 2-4 million people to Mecca [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 14 August, 2017

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At least 31 foreign Hajj pilgrims in Saudi Arabia died on Sunday as the annual Islamic pilgrimage in Mecca gets underway.

At least 31 Muslim Hajj pilgrims died on Sunday in Saudi Arabia, the country's official news agency reported.

No further information was given by authorities about the cause of their deaths, however, the Saudi Press Agency said that the deceased were all foreign nationals.

The annual Hajj pilgrimage draws around 2 to 4 million people each year to the Muslim holy city of Mecca.

Over 620,000 pilgrims arrived in Saudi Arabia by 12 August, the Saudi Press Agency reported. 

Last year, Saudi authorities have tightened security at pilgrimage sites following a deadly stampede that killed at least 2,297 pilgrims during 2015's Hajj.

This year, the annual Hajj takes place following a warning by the World Health Organisation in July that Yemen's cholera epidemic may put pilgrims to Saudi Arabia at risk.




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