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35 pilgrims die in bus crash near Medina

35 pilgrims die in bus crash near Medina
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Thirty-five foreigners were killed and four others injured when a bus collided with another heavy vehicle near the Muslim holy city of Medina, Saudi state media said on Thursday.

Riyadh : Thirty-five foreigners were killed and four others injured when a bus collided with another heavy vehicle near the Muslim holy city of Medina, Saudi state media said on Thursday.

The accident on Wednesday evening involved a collision between "a private chartered bus... with a heavy vehicle" near the western city, a spokesman for Medina police said, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.

Those involved were Arab and Asian pilgrims travelling from Medina to Mecca, according to local media, which carried pictures of the bus engulfed in flames and with its windows blown out. The injured have been transferred to Al-Hamna Hospital, SPA added.

Authorities have launched an investigation. The Okaz newspaper said that the victims were expatriates who lived in the kingdom and who were performing the umrah -- the lesser pilgrimage to the Muslim holy places, which can be undertaken year-round.

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