More than 1,000 pilgrims killed by heat in Mecca

More than 1,000 pilgrims killed by heat in Mecca

This Thursday, June 20, the death toll from the Hajj, the great Muslim pilgrimage which took place in Saudi Arabia under intense heat, exceeded 1,000, according to a count carried out by AFP using data provided by different countries.

An Arab diplomat told AFP this Thursday that 58 additional deaths were recorded among Egyptian pilgrims, bringing to 658 the number of nationals of this country who died during the hajj, of whom 630 were in an irregular situation.

This annual pilgrimage, which took place from Friday June 14 to Sunday June 16, took place this year again in the middle of summer in one of the hottest regions in the world, with temperatures reaching 51.8°C in La Mecca, the holiest city in Islam.

Saudi authorities have advised worshipers to use umbrellas, drink plenty of fluids and avoid exposure to the sun during the hottest hours of the day. But many rituals are done outside and in the middle of the day.

The hajj, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, is one of the five pillars of Islam and Muslims who can afford it must perform it at least once in their lives. Around 1.8 million worshipers took part in the hajj this year, including 1.6 million from abroad, according to Saudi authorities.

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