Egyptian pilgrim dies of health issues in Saudi Arabia
Cranes are seen as Muslim pilgrims perform Haj tasks in the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia - REUTERS

CAIRO: An Egyptian pilgrim died in Saudi Arabia after a reported battle with liver cancer, raising the death toll among Egyptians during the 2015 Hajj season to five, according to the Ministry of Health’s mission in the Kingdom Tuesday.

Last week, the mission announced that four pilgrims had died earlier this month due to sudden health crises.

In a separate accident, two Egyptian pilgrims died from their injuries caused by a construction crane that collapsed in the Grand Mosque in Mecca city. In the same accident, 11 out of 31 Egyptians who were admitted to Saudi hospitals were released, while the rest are under medical examination.

Deaths among pilgrims happen annually, usually due to stampedes during the largest Muslim gathering through the year.

Around 70,000 Egyptian pilgrims are traveling to Mecca to perform the rituals this year; a total of 44, 659 have arrived in Saudi Arabia thus far.

Hajj, meaning pilgrimage, is one of the five pillars of Islam and is obligatory to Muslims who can physically and financially afford it.

This year the rituals start Sept. 22 and its peak fall on Sept. 23, which is called “Day of Arafat.”

Then, Muslims worldwide will celebrate the four-day Eid al-Adha or “Feast of Sacrifice” that marks the Prophet Ibrahim’s obedience to God through his willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail.

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