19 Egyptian Umrah pilgrims die in bus accident near Madinah

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SHAFAQNA – At least 19 Egyptians were killed and 25 injured when their bus overturned in Saudi Arabia, officials said.

Saudi Red Crescent spokesman Khaled al-Sahli said the crash took place early on Saturday on Hijrah Road linking the two Saudi holy cities of Makkah and Madinah. An official with the Egyptian foreign ministry, Hisham al-Naqeeb said that the bus was carrying 44 Egyptians.

He said the bodies of the dead were transferred to different hospitals in the city of Madinah. Nawaf al-Mohammad, chief of the Madinah traffic department said that the driver of the vehicle may have fallen asleep.

The pilgrims were on their way to Madinah about 400km from Makkah, according to the official. The accident came a day after at least 14 Palestinian pilgrims en route to Mecca died in a bus crash in southern Jordan near Saudi border.

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