148 Egyptians confirmed dead in Mecca’s stampede; 86 still missing
Bodies of Muslim pilgrims are seen after a stampede at Mina, outside the holy Muslim city of Mecca - REUTERS

CAIRO: A total of 148 Egyptian pilgrims were killed in Mecca’s Mina stampede, while 86 remain missing, according to the Egyptian Consulate in Jeddah.

Saudi Authorities have extracted DNA samples from nails of unidentified dead pilgrims to compare them to relatives of the missing Egyptians; the results set to be announced next week.

The consulate has called on relatives of identified slain or injured Egyptian pilgrims to contact the consulate on Facebook or at 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.

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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