11:11 - September 04, 2017
News ID: 3463838
TEHRAN (IQNA) – More than two million pilgrims participating in the Hajj this week began returning to Mecca on Sunday for final prayers as the world’s largest annual gathering of Muslims winds down.

Pilgrims Return to Mecca as Hakk Winds Down without Incident

Senior Saudi officials said the rituals, which have in the past seen deadly stampedes, fires and riots to which authorities sometimes struggled to respond, had gone off without incident.

Thousands of pilgrims participated in a symbolic stoning of the devil, part of the haj rituals, in Jamarat before returning to Mecca. By nightfall, Mecca’s Grand Mosque was crowded with worshippers.

More than 2.3 million pilgrims came to Saudi Arabia this year, most of them from abroad, for the five-day ritual. Attendance is a religious duty, once in a lifetime, for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it.

More than 100,000 members of the security forces and 30,000 health workers were on hand this week to maintain safety and provide first aid.

A crush in 2015 killed thousands of pilgrims when two large groups of pilgrims arrived at a crossroads in Mina, east of Mecca.

Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq al-Rabeeah said the pilgrimage had passed without any outbreak of disease, a perennial concern.

He told Reuters in an interview late on Saturday that the ministry had also provided care to 400,000 people, including 21 open-heart surgeries.

Tags: IQNA ، Hajj ، pilgrims ، Mecca
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