DNA tests for missing Hajj pilgrims to complete Thursday
Bodies of Muslim pilgrims are seen after a stampede at Mina, outside the holy Muslim city of Mecca - REUTERS

CAIRO: The collection of samples of DNA taken from relatives of pilgrims missing since a massive stampede killed more than a thousand persons performing the Hajj pilgrimage last month will be completed by Thursday, a forensic authority source told Youm7.

The samples will be sent to Saudi Arabia for comparison between samples taken from the bodies of those killed in the crush.

On Oct 13, the Ministry listed the breakdown of 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 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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