A fire at a hotel in the Muslim holy city of Makkah killed at least eight Pakistani pilgrims and injured six others on Friday, a month before the annual Hajj pilgrimage is set to begin.
In a statement, Pakistan’s Foreign Office said: “We have reports of eight deaths and six injured Pakistanis in the incident. Our Mission in Jeddah is in contact with local authorities to provide relief to the victims and their families.”
Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed deep grief and sorrow over the incident and offered his condolences to the affected families, with his office’s media wing stating that “The Prime Minister prayed for the highest ranks for the departed souls and for the families to bear the loss with fortitude.”
The prime minister also directed Pakistan’s Ministry of Religious Affairs to care for the health of the injured pilgrims and to provide all possible assistance to their families.
The massive fire – the causes of which have not been revealed – erupted on the third floor of the hotel, which is located on Ibrahim Khalil Road in Makkah. It is reportedly one of the numerous hotels in the holy city where Umrah pilgrims from subcontinent countries such as Pakistan and Bangladesh, as well as other countries, were staying.