The body of the Sri Lankan pilgrim who went missing along with with his wife following the stampede in Mecca in Saudi Arabia on September 24 has been identified by a relative of his at the mortuary in Mecca, Muslim Religious Affairs Minister Abdul Haleem said today.
Minister Haleem said a couple from Colombo, 56 year-old Abubakar Abdul Aziz and 55 year-old Roshan Hara Abdul Aziz, who were on hajj pilgrimage had gone missing since the stampede and that search operations were underway to locate his wife who was still missing.
He said 2840 Sri Lankan pilgrims participated in the hajj pilgrimage this year and two of them went missing during the stampede.
When asked whether the body would be brought to Sri Lanka, Minister Haleem said it is considered to be blessing to die in Mecca and that the bodies are usually buried there.
He said both the Saudi government and Sri Lankan embassy had authority to issue death certificates of the deceased.
More than 717 pilgrims were killed in a stampede outside the Muslim Holy City of Mecca on September 24. (Ajith Siriwardana)