The Ministry of Religious Affairs announced that twelve Tunisian pilgrims passed away close to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, the land of the holy Muslim shrines during the annual Hajj celebration.
Every year, some pilgrims die during the pilgrimage to Mecca. While some pass away due to natural reasons, others die during the stoning of the devil ritual in Mina. On that day almost three million people gather and some people at the front of the crowd are crushed to death or mortally wounded by stones that are thrown.
The Saudi Press Agency reports: “As a result of pushing at the stoning point, several pilgrims, most of whom were elderly, fell to the ground, resulting in the deaths of 35 persons…as a result of suffocation and stampede.”
As for the Tunisian pilgrims that passed away, a spokesperson from the Ministry of Religious Affairs stated that all of the deaths were due to natural reasons such as heart attacks or illnesses.
Seven Tunisian passed away during the first days and the other five during the last days, three of whom died in Mina the day of “devil stoning.”
The Ministry of Religious Affairs forwarded the names of the dead pilgrims to the Ministry of Interior, which has the addresses of the families and is entitled to inform the families of the deceased.
According to Islam, Muslims who can afford it are required to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, Islam’s holiest site, at least once in their lives.