Kenya’s foreign ministry has confirmed that more than three Kenyans are among the 717 pilgrims that died in a stampede outside the Muslim holy city of Mecca.

Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho has said in a statement that Kenya's ambassador in Riyadh is working to account for the 4,950 Kenyans who attended this year's Hajj. He said the victims' families have been notified and the ministry will give any updates through the media as received from Kenya Mission in Saudi Arabia. 717 people were reported dead and 863 were injured during the incident in the neighbourhood of Mina. “We have received information from the Kenyan Mission in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, of three Kenyans confirmed dead, while one is seriously injured and in hospital.” Mr Kibicho said in a statement.

Other reports indicate that the death toll from Thursday's stampede during a Hajj ritual outside of Mecca has risen to 769, Saudi Arabia's health minister had said. At a press conference on Saturday, Khalid al-Falih also said the number of people injured during the crush in the tent city of Mina while on their way to perform a ritual on the first day of Eid had risen to 934. Earlier, Saudi Arabia's top religious leader has said that the stampede, the worst disaster in a quarter-century to strike the annual event, was beyond human control.

Earlier reports from The Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) had indicated that 5 Kenyan pilgrims were among the dead while 10 more are yet to be accounted for.

Hajj is the fifth pillar in Islam mandatory for every able Muslim to undertake, at least once, in his/her lifetime.

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