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Hajj 2024: President sacks Minister

Tunisian President Kais Saied has sacked the country’s Religious Affairs Minister Ibrahim Chaibi after dozens of Tunisian pilgrims died while performing the Hajj ritual in Saudi Arabia.

A statement by the Tunisian presidency, however, didn’t provide reasons behind firing the minister, but it coincided with the death of at least 49 Tunisian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia.

Chaibi said earlier, before his sacking, that most of the deaths were among Tunisian pilgrims who travelled to Saudi Arabia on tourist visas rather than through the Saudi official Hajj programme.

Chaibi came under criticism by Tunisian social media activists who accused him of posting his photos while performing the Hajj at a time when the deaths were reported among Tunisian pilgrims.

At least 49 Tunisians have died due to the extreme heat in Saudi Arabia during the past week.

Tunisian families are still searching for several missing people.

Nearly 500 persons have been reported dead in this year’s Hajj pilgrimage.

CNN in a report says the deaths include 14 Malaysians, 165 Indonesians, 75 Jordanians, 35 Pakistanis, 49 Tunisians, 11 Iranians and 98 Indians, quoting authorities in each country.

Additionally, 27 Jordanians are hospitalised while about 14 are still missing, the Jordanian Foreign Ministry said.

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