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18.01.2006 General News

Two Ghanaian pilgrims die in Hajj stampede

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Accra, Jan. 18, GNA - Vice President Aliu Mahama on Wednesday confirmed the death of two unidentified Ghanaians during the stampede that claimed the lives of more than 300 pilgrims at this year's annual Muslims pilgrimage (Hajj) to Saudi Arabia.

This brings to five the official record of Ghanaians who died during the religious exercise, which is one of the five pillars of Islam.

Three pilgrims died earlier in Saudi Arabia through natural causes. An estimated 344 pilgrims died during the stampede when they converged at Mina for the symbolic stoning of the devil to climax the Hajj.

Hearty loo king Vice President Mahama, who led a six-member Government delegation to the Hajj, was welcomed by a group of Ministers led by Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyeman, Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing and a host of Muslim Clergy. The delegation comprised the National Chief Imam, Alhaji Nuru Sharabutu, and Alhaji Rashid Bawah, Ambassador Designate to Saudi Arabia.

Vice President Mahama said he used the unique religious exercise to pray for the peace and prosperity of Ghanaians. Whilst in Saudi Arabia he also met and interacted with the Saudi King, Abdullah, President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal and President Yahya Jammeh of the Gambia.