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Nigeria Confirms Its 5 Pilgrims To Mecca Have Died

31 August 2017

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria says five Nigerian pilgrims have lost their lives since the beginning of the 2017 Hajj Operation.

He however disclosed that one of the deceased hails from Kwara State just as he noted that the death rate for this year's hajj is the lowest in recent times.

Almost 90,000 Iranians are expected to attend the Hajj this year for the first time since the 2015 crush.

This year the five-day holy pilgrimage is set to take place between Wednesday August 30 (today) and Monday September 4.

Most Muslims view Saudi Arabia as the leader of the Islamic world, particularly due to its geographical importance of being home to Islam's holiest sites, Mecca and Medina.

They said on improvement and recovery, the pilgrims would be "discharged to do their Hajj rituals but those who are still sick will be taken by ambulances to the Holy Sites to complete their pilgrimage".

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The journey of the five-day-long pilgrimage begins for many when they depart from their countries dressed in "ihram". Similarly, the crown prince also emphasized the "historical relations between Saudi and Qatari people" after his meeting with Qatar's Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali bin Abdullah bin Jassim al-Thani.

More than 1.4 million pilgrims had arrived in Saudi Arabia by August 25 to perform the haj, a 33% increase from the same period past year.

The two countries then severed diplomatic relations in January 2016 after the Saudi embassy in Tehran was ransacked by a crowd protesting against the execution in the kingdom of a Shia religious dignitary.

In Malaysia for example, the waiting list for the average person under the quota is an estimated 94 years, according to an official from Lembaga Tabung Haji, a government-linked financial organization that provides savings services to Muslims planning pilgrimages to Mecca. Those calls were vehemently rejected by Saudi Arabia, which accused Iran of politicizing the hajj.

A blockade imposed on Qatar since June 5 has seen sea and air links shut down, preventing many Qataris from making Hajj, although Riyadh relaxed entry restrictions across its land border with the emirate two weeks before the pilgrimage.

Iranians, however, will be allowed to participate in this year's event.

Nigeria Confirms Its 5 Pilgrims To Mecca Have Died