Death toll among Egyptian pilgrims on hajj reaches 17: Ministry


Around the world, Muslims will mark the end of hajj with a celebration called Eid al-Adha.

Saudi Arabia announced on Friday that no major security issues were reported during the 2017 Hajj season, according to France Press Agency (AFP).

Dr Ibrahim Kana, Head of Medical Team, said Nigeria had become the second after Pakistan to computerise health matters of all its pilgrims in Saudi Arabia.

Statistics from the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah showed that as of Thursday, the total number of local and foreign pilgrims reached 2,352,122.

Tens of thousands of Muslim pilgrims made the ritual ascent to the Namira mosque on Mount Arafat, outside Mecca, braving a blazing summer sun and temperatures hovering around 40 degrees Celsius. The faithful come from almost every country in the world, speaking dozens of languages and sometimes practicing Islam in different ways based on local customs or traditions.

For the first time, the Saudi Ministry of Education has established nurseries where parents can leave their children while they perform the rituals of the pilgrimage, which lasts several days and takes place in different places.

The King also exchanged handshake and pleasantries with President of the Nigerian Senate Dr. Bukola Saraki; Niger's National Assembly President Ousseini Tinni; Mauritius Vice Prime Minister Showkutally Soodhun; Bangladesh's former President Hussain Mohammed Ershad among others.

"We are determined, with God's permission, to continue to provide the highest level of services for the two holy ensure the safety of those who seek the sacred house of God", he said.

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More than two million Muslims from around the world began the Haj pilgrimage at Islam's holiest sites today, a religious duty and an epic multi-stage journey.

He urged pilgrims to set aside politics during the haj and come together with fellow Muslims.

The Saudi authorities redesigned the Jamarat area after two stampedes, in 2004 and 2006, killed hundreds of pilgrims, and the frequency of such disasters has greatly reduced as the government spent billions of dollars upgrading and expanding haj infrastructure and crowd control technology.

"Hosting Hajj each year is an honour and a great responsibility for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, one we hold dear to our hearts".

Senior Saudi clerics were quick to respond, saying the pilgrimage should not be exploited and reminding worshippers that the ultimate goal of the hajj is "to spend all their time and effort in worshipping Almighty Allah".

Translated as Rami al-Jamarat, the stoning ritual is part of the pilgrimage'rituals.

"I went up last night and prayed, taking pictures and calling my family and friends", said Maia, 32-year-old from Jakarta.