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52 Beninese pilgrims killed, 41 missing in Saudi Arabia stampede

COTONOU, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- Benin lost 52 Muslim pilgrims and 41 others are still missing following a stampede that occurred during the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mina, near Mecca, on Sept. 24, 2015, religious sources told Xinhua Wednesday.

According to governmental authorities, especially Benin's foreign ministry which is in charge of organizing the pilgrimage, the current death toll stands at 17 while 100 others are still missing.

"We are still waiting for the return of all Beninese pilgrims who went for the 2015 Hajj, to have a clear idea of the official number of deaths and the missing," an official from Benin's foreign ministry said, adding that 3,840 pilgrims took part in this year's Hajj.

On Wednesday night, 268 pilgrims with about ten of them injured, were received at the Cotonou International Airport by President Boni Yayi and other government officials.

Yayi announced that the government will soon organize a national prayer day to remember the victims of Mina stampede from across the entire world.

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