Death toll among Egyptian pilgrims in hajj stampede rises to 37

Pilgrims walk by the site where pilgrims were crushed and trampled to death during the annual hajj pilgrimage in Mina, Saudi Arabia, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015 (AP)

Pilgrims walk by the site where pilgrims were crushed and trampled to death during the annual hajj pilgrimage in Mina, Saudi Arabia, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015 (AP)

The number rose from 14 on Friday to 37 by Saturday

Thirty-seven Egyptian pilgrims were killed in Thursday’s deadly stampede during the hajj ritual near Mecca in Saudi Arabia, Minister of Endowments Mokhtar Gomaa said on Saturday.

At least 769 people were killed and 863 were injured in the incident, Saudi Arabia’s Civil Defence Service said.

The minister added that the names of all Egyptian victims in the deadly accident will be announced Saturday evening.

On Friday, Gomaa said that fourteen Egyptian pilgrims died and thirty-one were injured in the stampede.

The stampede occurred as pilgrims converged on the site of Mena just outside Mecca to take part in the symbolic stoning of the devil that marks the last day of the hajj. The ritual involves pilgrims throwing pebbles at one of three pillars representing Satan.

An estimated 62,000 Egyptians are performing the pilgrimage this year.

Almost two million pilgrims took part in the stoning ritual this year.

One of the five major pillars of Islam, the hajj must be performed at least once a lifetime by all Muslims who can afford the trip.

On 11 September, five Egyptians were among the 107 people killed when a massive construction crane crashed into Mecca’s Grand Mosque during stormy weather.

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