Egyptian death toll in Mecca hajj stampede rises to 146
Bodies of Muslim pilgrims are seen after a stampede at Mina, outside the holy Muslim city of Mecca - REUTERS
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CAIRO: The number of Egyptian pilgrims who were killed in Mecca’s Mina stampede rose to 146, while 92 are still missing, The Egyptian Consulate in Jeddah announced Monday.

The death toll rose from 138 while the number of missing pilgrims dropped from 96 Sunday, according to the Awqaf (Religious Endowments) Ministry’s statement.

On Monday, the consulate called on relatives of identified slain or injured Egyptian pilgrims to contact the consulate on Facebook or the following numbers 01220463333-25772500.

The stampede occurred while almost 2 million pilgrims from all over the world were simultaneously performing the “stoning of the devil” ritual in Mina near Mecca. The crush claimed the lives of at least 717 and injured more than 800, according to media reports.

The incident has raised questions over Saudi Arabia’s capacity to handle the millions of pilgrims in the biggest gathering of people in the world every year.

According to the AP, Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry said the crush appears to have been caused by two waves of pilgrims meeting at an intersection.

The Hajj, or Islamic pilgrimage, is one of Islam’s five pillars; it is a once in a lifetime obligation on Muslims who can bear the ritual physically and financially.

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