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UPDATED: 07:46, December 31, 2006
22 Egyptian pilgrims dies during Mecca hajj
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The death toll of Egyptian pilgrims during Mecca hajj in Saudi Arabia has risen to 22 till Saturday, the official news agency MENA reported.

Eight pilgrims died on Friday, the beginning of haj ritual, while 14 other Egyptian pilgrims died on or before Wednesday.

Most of the Egyptian pilgrims died of heart attacks, said Yousri Shaaban, head of Egyptian medical mission, adding that there was no epidemics or contagious diseases among the Egyptian pilgrims as the 22 Egyptian pilgrims died of natural causes or due to complications of diseases they had contracted.

Four Egyptian medical teams were sent to Mecca where medical workers are offering necessary medical services for Egyptian pilgrims.

Nearly 70,000 Egyptians had headed to Saudi Arabia for hajj, according to MENA.

More than two million Muslim faithful performed dawn prayers on Friday on Mount Arafat or Mount Mercy near the Saudi holy city of Mecca during the annual Muslim pilgrimage -- the hajj, said the report.

Source: Xinhua

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