Awqaf Ministry releases names of Egyptians killed, missing in Hajj stampede
The bodies of Muslim pilgrims are seen following a crush caused by large numbers of people pushing at Mina, outside the Muslim holy city of Mecca September 24, 2015. The death toll from a stampede during the annual Muslim hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia on Thursday has risen to 453 people of various nationalities, the Saudi civil defence said. REUTERS/Stringer TEMPLATE OUT

CAIRO: The Minister of Awqaf (religious endowment) announced Tuesday the names of the Egyptians who were killed, injured and missing in the September Hajj stampede.

In a statement released Tuesday, the ministry listed the breakdown of the the names of the 181 dead and 53 missing Egyptian pilgrims in four categories.

“The death toll among Egyptian pilgrims of the social solidarity’s delegation reached 49, while it reached 37 among tourist companies’ delegation, 17 among the delegation of the lottery-based Hajj packages and 78 among independent pilgrims,” according to the statement.

The ministry said the above figures are based on statistics provided by the Egyptian Consulate in Jeddah.

“Eight pilgrims from the social solidarity’s delegation are reported missing, six from the tourist companies’ delegation, four from the lottery-based Hajj packages and 35 independent pilgrims,” the statement read.

The ministry added that it is closely following up with the Egyptian consulate in Jeddah and the figures will be updated instantly.

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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