Dand according to the French news agency, France-Presse (AFP), the number could, however, far exceed one thousand, as there are 1,400 missing pilgrims who may have died from the heat, well above the 240 deaths recorded in the year past and of the 922 already counted this year by AFP.

Most of the pilgrims who died during the pilgrimage to Mecca, in western Saudi Arabia, were Egyptians, according to an Arab diplomat cited by AFP, who assured that “all deaths are due to the heat” in the region, where temperatures reached 51.8 degrees Celsius today.

Egyptian officials in Saudi Arabia “have so far been informed of 1,400 cases of missing pilgrims”, already counting the death toll, the Arab diplomat added.

The new Egyptian toll brings the total number of deaths recorded so far in the Hajj to 922, according to an AFP count based on data provided by several countries.

This year’s pilgrimage was attended by more than 1.8 million people, the majority of whom were foreigners.

In addition to the large number of people visiting hospitals looking for their relatives, social networks such as Facebook are full of photographs of missing people and requests for information about missing pilgrims.

Muslim pilgrims ended their Hajj, or pilgrimage, on Tuesday in intense summer heat with the third day of the symbolic stoning of the Devil and the final circumvallation of the Kaaba, in Mecca.

The three-day stoning ritual in Mina, a desert site on the outskirts of Mecca, is part of the final rites of the Hajj and symbolizes the expulsion of evil and sin.

This ceremony began the day after pilgrims gathered on Saturday on a sacred hill known as Mount Arafat.

The final days of the annual Hajj (annual pilgrimage) coincide with the celebration of the Eid al-Adha holiday, in which Muslims commemorate Prophet Ibrahim’s test of faith when “God commanded him to sacrifice his only son, slaughtering cattle and animals and distributing meat for the poor.”

The Hajj is one of the five most important ceremonies in Islam: the rituals mark the accounts of the prophet Ibrahim and his son, the prophet Ismail, Ismail’s mother, Hajar, and the prophet Muhammad, according to the Quran, the holy book of Islam.

The dates of this sacred pilgrimage are determined according to the Muslim calendar, which is based on lunar cycles, and the rituals have been carried out under scorching temperatures in recent years, as a result of climate change.

In May, a study published by Saudi Arabia warned that temperatures in places where rituals take place increase by 0.4 degrees Celsius every ten years, which is aggravated by the fact that tens of thousands of pilgrims make the pilgrimage outside the route official to avoid paying for official permits, which are often expensive, but which also prevents them, for example, from accessing air-conditioned spaces at the end of outdoor prayers.

Read Also: Death toll during biggest Muslim pilgrimage rises to 577

Source: https://www.noticiasaominuto.com/mundo/2583219/numero-de-mortos-na-peregrinacao-a-meca-sobe-para-mais-de-900

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