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13 Indian Haj pilgrims die in Saudi Arabia

Thirteen Indian pilgrims have died in Saudi Arabia while undertaking the annual Haj pilgrimage, an official statement said on Wednesday.

world Updated: Oct 12, 2011 20:15 IST

Thirteen Indian pilgrims have died in Saudi Arabia while undertaking the annual Haj pilgrimage, an official statement said on Wednesday.

"As of today, 13 pilgrims have expired, out of which 11 came through Haj Committee of India and two through private tour operators," said a release from the consulate general of India.

From India 51,611 pilgrims have arrived for the annual Haj pilgrimage. Of these, 14,655 are in Makkah and 36,945 are in Madina. Also, 7,155 pilgrims have moved from Makkah to Madina.

These pilgrims have arrived here from different parts of India -- Delhi (16,979), Guwahati (2,681), Hyderabad (5,779), Jaipur (3,294), Kozhikode (7,500), Lucknow (8,628), Mangalore (650), Ranchi (2,834) and Varanasi (3,266), the statement said.

The Haj to Makkah, the holiest city for Muslims, is obligatory in Islam at least once in a lifetime.

Madina, the second most sacred city for Muslims, is the place where Prophet Mohammad was laid to rest and also has the three oldest mosques.