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More than 1,000 people died during this year's annual Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia due to scorching-hot temperatures across the Islamic holy sites in the desert kingdom, according to officials. Over half of the fatalities were from Egypt, as the death count rose to 672 and 25 pilgrims were still reported missing, and a total of 236 Indonesians also died.

Earlier, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had clarified that a total of 98 Indian pilgrims had died during the Hajj yatra in Saudi Arabia. "This year, we have 175,000 Indians who have already visited Hajj... So far, we have lost 98 of our citizens. These deaths have happened on account of natural illness, natural causes, chronic illness, and also old age. On the day of Arafat, six Indians died and four Indians died on account of accidents.



Last year the figure of Indians who died in Hajj was 187..." said MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal.

Further deaths were reported by Tunisia, Jordan, Iran, and Senegal, making this year's total toll at least 1,114 people, according to a Reuters tally. Saudi Arabia has not commented on the deaths during the pilgrimage, which is required of every able Muslim once in their life. Two pilgrims from the United States were also found dead.

Deaths are not uncommon at the Hajj, which witnesses millions of people travelling to Saudi Arabia for the five-day pilgrimage. It has also been the site of deadly stampedes and epidemics, such as the 2015 stampede in Mina which killed more than 2,400 pilgrims. The second-deadliest incident at the Hajj was a 1990 stampede that killed 1,426 people.
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