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Nigeria Confirms Its 5 Pilgrims To Mecca Have Died

31 August 2017

The authorities have also placed thousands of cameras also at the spot.

The physically demanding journey tests pilgrims' patience as they withstand long waits and thick crowds on their path to achieving spiritual purification and repentance.

Five Nigerian pilgrims to this year's hajj in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, have passed on, Premium Times reports.

King Salman's orders were issued after the mediation of Sheikh Abdullah Bin Ali Al Thani.

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The commission's Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Abdullahi Mukhtar Mohammad, spoke at the pre-Arafat meeting of stakeholders in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the five pillars of Islam, or core ritual practices, and considered to be the largest gathering of people in the world, with millions attending every year.

For almost three months, the Gulf has been embroiled in its worst ever political crisis, with Saudi Arabia and its allies facing off against Qatar, which they accuse of being too close to Iran and backing extremism.

"Given that Qatar's hajj attendance has inevitably been affected by the boycott, the hajj was de facto politicized — there's no way around it", he said.

World Health Organization cholera expert Dominique Legros said Saudi Arabia has avoided cholera outbreaks for many years due to reinforced surveillance and early detection.

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In 2015, 769 pilgrims died in a stampede during the symbolic stone-throwing ritual near Mecca, according to Saudi official figures.

"We have a precedent of repeated success in past years in dealing with the outbreak of corona, SARS, and swine and bird flu", he said - awareness campaigns and health requirements for pilgrims kept those outbreaks from reaching the Mecca area. Although 400 Qataris successfully entered the Kingdom, disputes over flight permits and security arrangements left 800 remaining pilgrims stranded in Doha.

The number of foreign pilgrims has multiplied exponentially over the years, from as few as 24,000 in 1941 to 1.325 million in 2016.

Ahead of this year's hajj, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei essentially called on pilgrims to hold protests again, saying the pilgrimage offers "Muslims with a great opportunity to express their beliefs".

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Nigeria Confirms Its 5 Pilgrims To Mecca Have Died