12 Nigerian pilgrims die in Saudi Arabia

 Four of the pilgrims died in Mecca while eight died in Medina.


About 12 Nigerian pilgrims have died in Saudi Arabia while in the Islamic Holy Land for the annual pilgrimage.

The Coordinator of the National Hajj Commission, in Mecca, Aliyu Tanko, confirmed the death of four in Mecca on Thursday.

Mr. Tanko said the figure was made up of two pilgrims from Katsina State, and one each from Sokoto and Ogun States. He said the four died shortly on arrival in Mecca in the past one week.

He did not give further details of the others but recalled that eight other pilgrims died earlier in Medina. Nigeria commenced airlift of Hajj pilgrims on September 19.

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The coordinator said the commission’s three clinics in Mecca, and those set up by the various state pilgrims boards, provide effective medical services to Nigerian pilgrims. He urged pilgrims to always seek medical advice before embarking on pilgrimage and warned them against exposing themselves to the harsh weather in the Holy Land.

The coordinator said that of the 81 thousand Nigerians that had so far arrived in the Holy Land, 60 thousand were in Mecca and the rest in Medina.

He added that the remaining 14 thousand pilgrims, of the 95 thousand Nigerians performing this year’s pilgrimage, were transported to the Holy Land by tour operators.

The King Abdulazeez International Airport, Jedda, will be closed to incoming flights from October 20 for the Hajj.

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