Ethiopia, Egypt and Uganda report pilgrim deaths in Saudi Arabia
APA’s correspondents have reported learning of the deaths of as many as 56 pilgrims from countries across the world, during the 2017 Hajj in Saudi Arabia.
Our correspondent in Ethiopia reported the death from food poisoning of an Ethiopian pilgrim. Hamid Tahir was with his mother and new bride attending the 2017 Hajj, and he died at a hospital in Mecca, APA learned on Wednesday from his family in Addis Ababa.
His mother and wife were informed of his death four days later by doctors, who waited for the pilgrims to finish their prayers. The body of Hamid Tahir was laid to rest in Saudi Arabia on the same day, APA learned.
Hamid had been working at the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) for more than 15 years, and served in different capacities in the EBC’s Arabic section radio station. The senior journalist was a coordinator at EBC Radio 104.7, and took his annual leave to attend this year’s pilgrimage in Mecca.
Other reports received by APA correspondents said as many as 40 pilgrims died as a result of illness during the 2017 Hajj, with Egypt alone announcing the death of 23 Egyptian pilgrims.
"The deaths were caused by stress, hardship and old age," Ahmed al-Ansari, head of the medical pilgrimage mission, was quoted as saying, while the Egyptian Health ministry also said "most of them died from heart failure and breathing problems."
APA’s correspondent also reported Wednesday that a Ugandan pilgrim is among the 56 pilgrims reportedly dying in Mecca this year.
Hajji Dauda Musoke, aged 83, reportedly died in his hotel room on Monday, and was buried Tuesday in a cemetery about 4 kilometers from Mecca, after the early morning prayer.
According to the report, 55 pilgrims from other countries who passed away were also buried in the same graveyard.
One of the pilgrims, Dr Tatu Kaggwa, who travelled with one Dauda from Uganda, said he died of natural causes.
She said the weather in Mecca is extremely hot, and most pilgrims complained of dehydration.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Adbdul Busulwa, chairperson Uganda Federation of Hajj Affairs, told APA Muslims believe that "to die and be buried in Mecca is a blessing."
“When you go for Hajj Allah forgives all your sins. You become holy because Mecca is a holy place and every Muslim wishes to die in there,” Sheikh Busulwa said.