19 Egyptian pilgrims killed, 25 injured in Saudi Arabia bus crash

At least 19 Egyptian pilgrims were killed Saturday when their bus overturned in Saudi Arabia, an Egyptian official said.

Twenty-five Egyptians were injured in the accident that took place on a highway linking the two Saudi holy cities of Medina and Mecca, Assistant Foreign Minister Hesham al-Naqeeb said, according to Egypt's state-run newspaper al-Ahram.

The pilgrims were on their way to Medina, about 400 kilometres from Mecca, according to Nawaf al-Mohammadi, chief of Medina's traffic department.

Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, draws millions of Muslims annually to perform pilgrimage and visit holy sites there.

Earlier Saturday, the spokesman for the Saudi Red Crescent in Medina, Khaled al-Sahli, said the crash left 19 dead and 22 injured.

The accident probably occurred when the driver lost control of the vehicle after falling asleep, al-Mohammadi told Saudi online newspaper Sabq.

In September, 769 Muslim pilgrims died in a stampede during a Hajj pilgrimage ritual near Mecca, according to Saudi official figures.

However, a dpa tally indicated that more than 1,800 pilgrims died in the September 24 incident, making the 2015 Hajj tragedy the worst on record.

Last update: Sat, 19/03/2016 - 17:32


More from World

Multi-storey shopping centre in Tehran collapses after fire

A 17-storey shopping centre in the Iranian capital Tehran collapsed on Thursday after a major fire, state television...

Two remanded in custody over assassination of Russia envoy in Turkey

Two people have been remanded in custody over the assassination last month of the Russian ambassador to Ankara,...

Source: Gambia army and police chiefs no longer loyal to Jammeh

Gambia’s army chief of staff and police inspector general are no longer loyal to longtime ruler Yahya Jammeh, who is...

South Korean media: North Korea ICBM launch could be imminent

North Korea may be planning to launch two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) soon, South Korean media...

Obama: "I think we're going to be OK"

US President Barack Obama reflected Wednesday on eight years in office and expressed optimism for the future of the...