Egyptian pilgrims’ death toll in Mecca stampede reach 181
An ambulance evacuates victims following a crush caused by large numbers of people pushing at Mina, outside the Muslim holy city of Mecca - REUTERS

CAIRO: The death toll of Egyptian pilgrims who were killed in Mecca’s Mina stampede has amounted to 181, and those missing decreased to 53, Endowment Minister Mokhtar Gomaa announced Sunday.

A total of 48 families of missing Egyptian pilgrims provided DNA samples to Saudi Arabia to help identify their relatives among the dead victims.

In a separate incident, eight other Egyptians were killed when a construction crane fall on pilgrims at the Holy Mosque of Mecca, killing at least 100.

Saudi Arabia vowed to compensate the crane victims with millions of riyals, and the stampede incident has raised controversy over the Kingdom’s capability in handling millions of pilgrims in the biggest gathering of people in the world every year.

Hajj, 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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