Five Nigerian Hajj pilgrims confirmed dead in Saudi Arabia

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Hajj rituals begin in Saudi Arabia as pilgrims start gathering at Mina

31 August, 2017

A DPA tally and other independent reports, however, indicated that around 2,000 pilgrims died in the incident, making it the worst Hajj tragedy on record.

But what do we know about the religious event and when is it taking place this year?

Qatar has sent only dozens of its citizens across the border to Saudi Arabia for this week's hajj pilgrimage because of the increasingly bitter crisis between the Gulf neighbours. As many as three million prospective pilgrims perform a series of rituals over the course of five or six days.

Mount Arafat is a granite hill east of Makkah in the plain of about 20km southeast of Makkah and reaches about 230ft in height.

Accusations of the hajj being politicised have marred the region for some time.

Saudi authorities are also faced with the daunting task of ensuring sufficient logistics and taking appropriate security measures, as well as effective dissemination of information for all of its visitors.

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But, the NAHCON boss said Nigerians who want to renew their pilgrimage henceforth are expected to pay additional 2,000 riyals - a levy he said was imposed by the Saudi Arabia authorities.

Maryam expressed gratitude to the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for his hospitality and for the facilities and unique services offered to her.

At the start of the Eid al-Adha feast, Muslims then take part in stoning ceremonies, where they toss pebbles at walls to represent the symbolic "stoning of the devil".

Health officials said they are also prepared to deal with any injuries or accidents, and have more than 100 ambulances deployed across the hajj sites.

This is something every Qatari pilgrim cherishes and salutes the King for that, said a Qatari pilgrim while talking to Pakistan Observer here on Tuesday. The rituals involved are meant to cleanse the soul and demonstrate the equality and solidarity of all Muslims, in their submission to God. This week's hajj marks Iran's return after their absence previous year following a massive stampede in 2015 that killed around 2,300 people, including 464 Iranians.

The Islamic calendar is different from the widely-used Gregorian calendar.

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