Six Afghan pilgrims die in Saudi Arabia
22 October, 2012
KABUL: The Ministry of Hajj and Islamic Affairs on Sunday announced that six Afghan pilgrims had died of old age and heart attacks in Saudi Arabia.
One Afghan died in Madina and five others in Makkah, acting Minister of Haj and Islamic Affairs Dai-ul-Haq Abid told Pajhwok Afghan News.
The pilgrims were more than 55 years old, he said, recalling that a total of 40 Afghan pilgrims had died in Saudi Arabia during the Haj days last year.
Over the past two years, the Saudi embassy in Kabul has been calling for a ban on more than 65 years old people going to Haj, but the ministry could not enforce it, he added.
"Since most pilgrims get new ID cards if their applications are rejected for reasons of old age, we can't enforce the restriction. Afghanistan is perhaps the only country that sends elderly people to Haj," he added.