Hajj: Worldwide Muslims set off to Mecca

Written by: Samyuktha
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Mecca, Nov 13: With the annual Hajj pilgrimage, which is considered as one of the five "pillars" of Islam, just a few days away Muslims from across the world are setting off on journeys to Mecca and Madina.

Millions of Muslim pilgrims will travel to the two holy cities in Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage that begins on Monday, Nov 15.

Muslims are required to undertake the pilgrimage at least once in their life when they have health and the financial means to do so.

As per estimates, 2.5 million people are expected to arrive in Mecca over the next few days. New facilities, including a railway, have been arranged to make the pilgrimage a smooth one.

Heavy security as Saudi fears al-Qaeda strike

The five-day ritual has been fortified by heavy security as the Saudi government fears terror strikes from al-Qaeda.

"We cannot trust them. We do not rule out any attempt to disturb the security of the hajj," said Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz.

"We are ready for any act that might take place. God willing, nothing of that will happen, out of respect to this rite," he added.

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