Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Saudi Arabian authority confirmed that most pilgrims who passed away during the current Hajj season were not part of their national Hajj delegation and came without a proper Hajj permit.

Saudi's Ministry of Media explained that those individuals entered Saudi Arabia on tourism or visit visas months before the Hajj rituals began.

"These individuals remained in Mecca until the Hajj season and performed the pilgrimage without proper authorization," the Saudi ministry noted as per the statement received here on Thursday.

The Tunisian Foreign Ministry confirmed that most of their pilgrims who passed away while performing Hajj this year had arrived in Saudi Arabia not with a Hajj visa but only on a tourism, visit, or Umrah visa.

Likewise, the Jordanian Foreign Ministry also reported that all Jordanian pilgrims who died or went missing were not part of the official Jordanian Hajj delegation, according to the Saudi ministry.

The Saudi authority confirmed that this year's Hajj season was marked by a significant increase in temperatures in Mecca, reaching 45 degrees Celsius.

However, as the pilgrims were performing Hajj without proper authorization, they could not access the accommodation, food, or transportation services afforded to Hajj pilgrims to help them mitigate the effects of high temperatures.

"Consequently, they were exposed to the risks of heat exhaustion, sun exposure, and long (periods of) walking on rugged, unpaved paths not designated for pedestrians," according to the Saudi ministry.

"These conditions led to the unfortunate deaths of many. May their souls rest in peace," the ministry stated.

At least 550 pilgrims passed away while performing Hajj in Saudi Arabia due to the hot weather, according to AFP's report, as quoted from Sputnik.

Some 323 out of the total casualties were reported to be Egyptian citizens. More than 40 pilgrims from Jordan and 35 from Tunisia have also died due to the scorching heat during this year's Hajj season.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian Consulate General in Jidda reported on Monday (June 17) that at least 138 Indonesian pilgrims had passed away while performing Hajj. However, most of them died due to chronic illnesses.

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Reporter: Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Aditya Eko Sigit Wicaksono
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