DNA extracted from unidentified bodies to find missing pilgrims
The bodies of Muslim pilgrims are seen after a stampede at Mina, outside the holy Muslim city of Mecca - REUTERS
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CAIRO: Results of DNA samples, extracted from nails of unidentified dead pilgrims to compare them with the relatives of the missing Egyptians, will be announced after 10 days, the Minister of Health Ahmed Emad announced Sunday.

The samples were extracted by Saudi authorities. There are a total 96 Egyptians reported missing during the annual event of Hajj, meaning pilgrimage.

The Saudi authorities first took hand prints of all the deceased, “which is no longer useful and accurate due to the decomposition of the body,” Rady said in a Sunday statement. He added that DNA under fingernails gives more conclusive results within not more than 14 days.

Saudi Arabia previously announced it had agreed to receive DNA samples from Egyptians whose relatives have been missing to compare them with the bodies of unidentified victims.

Rady also said that five Egyptian pilgrims are the total death toll in an accident that took place right ahead of Hajj season, when a construction crane fell on pilgrims in the Mecca’s holy mosque killing more than 100. Seven out of 28 Egyptians injured in the accident are still receiving treatment in Saudi Arabia hospitals.

Some of the pilgrims suffered memory loss during the season, due to being subjected to “sunstroke,” said Rady; the temperature degrees during the season hit high in the kingdom.

The Ministry of Awqaf (Religious Endowment) has announced that the death toll of Egyptian pilgrims in a stampede in Mecca hit 138.

The five-day rituals of Hajj started Sept. 26, since then, an Egypt Air bridge has been transporting pilgrims back from Saudi Arabia.

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