Six Jordanian Pilgrims Die from Heatstroke During Hajj in Mecca

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Riyadh: Tragedy struck during this year’s Hajj pilgrimage as six Jordanian pilgrims succumbed to heatstroke in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, reported CNN on Sunday.

The Jordanian foreign ministry confirmed the deaths on Saturday, stating that coordination with Saudi officials in Jeddah is underway for burial procedures and the potential repatriation of the bodies to Jordan.

The fatalities occurred as pilgrims gathered on Mount Arafat on Saturday, marking the pinnacle of the pilgrimage.

According to the Saudi General Authority for Statistics, over 1.8 million pilgrims are participating in this year’s Hajj, making it one of the largest religious gatherings globally and Saudi Arabia’s primary annual event, considered one of Islam’s five pillars.

Saudi Arabia is currently grappling with extreme heat during the five-day pilgrimage, with temperatures soaring to 48 degrees Celsius in Mecca. Officials have advised pilgrims to carry umbrellas and maintain hydration due to the harsh weather conditions.

To manage the situation, the Saudi army has deployed more than 1,600 soldiers, including specialized medical units for heatstroke, along with 30 rapid response teams. Additionally, 5,000 health and first aid volunteers are actively involved.

The Jordanian foreign ministry clarified that the deceased were not part of the official delegation, lacking the necessary Hajj licenses for their journey, as reported by CNN.

The Hajj pilgrimage involves various rituals, including wearing special clothing symbolizing equality before God, circumambulating the Kaaba, and the symbolic stoning of evil.

Upon completion of the pilgrimage, individuals often add the title “al-Haj” or “hajji” (pilgrim) to their names.

Over the past decade, Saudi Arabia has invested billions to enhance transportation, technology, and accommodations for Hajj pilgrims, underscoring its importance as a significant revenue source for the world’s largest oil producer.

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