Most successful Haj season ever

MAKKAH - Pilgrims completed their final Haj rituals in the holy city of Makkah on Monday as the annual pilgrimage came to a close without any major incidents.

By (AFP)

Published: Mon 29 Oct 2012, 8:42 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 3:17 PM

The Saudi authorities congratulated the pilgrims, who officially numbered 3.1 million, on a “successful” Haj season, despite a large number having entered holy sites without proper permits. “Everything went very well,” Makkah governor Prince Khaled Al Faisal told reporters on Sunday, adding that this year’s pilgrimage was “the most successful Haj season ever.”

Last year, nearly three million pilgrims went on the Haj, one of the five pillars of Islam which must be performed at least once in a lifetime by all Muslims who are able to do so. Officials said about 120,000 police were deployed, along with an equal number of health and sanitation employees.

Saudi Health Minister Abdullah Al Rabia said the Haj passed without the spread of any major illness or epidemic. In September, the UN health agency confirmed a mystery illness from the same virus family as the deadly Sars had caused the death of a Saudi national.

The last remaining pilgrims performed the stone-throwing rituals on Monday in the Mina valley where they hurled stones at three pillars representing Satan.

They then headed to the holy city of Makkah to perform the farewell circumambulation of the Holy Kaaba before leaving the kingdom.

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