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Hajj tragedy death toll crosses 4,000: Reports

A pilgrim walks among dead bodies after a stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia, during the Hajj pilgrimage rituals on September 24, 2015. (AP)

The Saudi government confirms the death toll in the recent Hajj tragedy has reached 4,173, media reports say.

Saudi Vice Minister of Health Hamad bin Muhammad Al-Duweila said on Tuesday that he has received a photo showing that 4,173 pilgrims were killed in the tragic incident in Minda, near the holy city of Mecca, according to some reports.

The Saudi Health Ministry asserted that heat exhaustion and suffocation are to blame for the pilgrims’ death, the reports said.

The Saudi Health Ministry, however, later denied the reports. 

The fatal crush occurred on September 24 after two large crowds of pilgrims, who were on their way to participate in the symbolic stoning of Satan, a Hajj ritual, collided. 

Rise in Iranians’ death toll

The head of Iran's Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization, Saeed Ohadi, said on Tuesday that 239 Iranian pilgrims have so far been confirmed dead in the Mina tragedy.

He added that 14 Iranian pilgrims have been wounded while 241 others are still missing.

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