Hajj: Pilgrims converge on Muna ahead of Arafat

Saudi health officials overseeing Hajj later this week say they are prepared to handle any outbreak of disease or a stampede like the one that killed hundreds of worshippers two years ago.

The wife of Nigeria's President, Aisha Buhari will be joining millions of Muslims to participate in this year's hajj pilgrimage.

More than 100,000 members of Saudi security forces will help protect 2 million pilgrims who are part of Hajj's annual pilgrimage to Mecca today, the agencies said.

Hajj is a pilgrimage to Mecca that every able-bodied and financially able Muslim is obliged to undertake at least once during their lifetime.

It takes place in and around the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca which is regarded as the holiest city in Islam, as it is believed to be the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad and the site of his first revelation of the Qur'an.


Iranians are back after not attending in 2016 following a deadly Makkah stampede the previous year that killed almost 2,300 pilgrims.

FIVE Nigerian pilgrims have lost their lives since the beginning of the 2017 Hajj, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) said yesterday.

In 1990, 1426 pilgrims died in a stampede inside a tunnel after its ventilation system broke down.

- Thousands of security cameras have been set up along the pilgrimage route, according to a civil defence spokesman.

Asked if the authorities had detected any specific plots against this year's hajj, he said: "Not at all".


Bangladeshi pilgrim Mohammad Nasser, 53, said the Grand Mosque housing the Kaaba is congested and busy, but believes overall the Saudi government has managed the crowds well so far.

The seven, nearly all wearing the black niqab over their faces, form the first women's section of an emergency call centre in the kingdom, which has begun offering more education and employment opportunities to the half of the population that has traditionally stayed at home.

At 67, the oldest in her group, she sat in her wheelchair in Islam's most holy spot.

Saudi kings, and the Ottoman rulers of the Hijaz region before them, all adopted the honorary title of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, a reference to sites in Mecca and Medina.

After five days, the Hajj comes full circle and worshippers return to The Grand Mosque for their final prayers.


Hajj pilgrims in Saudi Arabia.


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