Hajj is Beginning, 100 000 Will Take Care of Security

Arafat Saraki Urges Pilgrims To Pray For Nigeria Buhari

He however advised the pilgrims to continue to conduct themselves in good and orderly manner while also complying with all laws, regulations and directives by the Saudi authorities aimed at making the remaining period of the hajj exercise hitch-free.

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

"I've planned everything for him", said the young mother, pointing to a bottle of water in her bag.

"We feel more religious when we leave this place", she said.

"Each group must abide by the specified paths assigned to each while throwing the jamarat", he said, referring to one of the critical stages of hajj, when pilgrims conduct the ritual stoning of the devil.

But Eni is nearly oblivious to the hubbub that surrounds her as she studies her Koran in the oppressive heat, pearls of sweat beading her face.

Also, Civil Defense spokesman Colonel Abdullah al-Harthi said the first phase of the emergency plan of the current Hajj season had been completed without any incident that could have adversely affected the safety of pilgrims.

That would mark an increase compared with previous year when 1.86 million pilgrims joined the hajj, which Muslims are required to perform at least once in their life if able to do so.

"This year we expect around two million pilgrims", Abdelmajeed Mohammad Al-Afghani, director of hajj and umra (lesser pilgrimage) affairs, told AFP.

With the successful arrival of about 81,000 Nigerian pilgrims in Sadia Arabia, the Chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, Barrister Abdullah Muhammad Mukhtar has disclosed that the Hajj rites has fully commenced without hitches. Diplomatic ties between the two countries were severed for four years as a effect.

A security perimeter has been established around Mecca and its surroundings for the event. During the Hajj, Muslims walk around it seven times anti-clockwise.

Iran alone reported 464 deaths - the highest toll among foreigners.

- More than 100,000 security personnel have been mobilised to keep pilgrims safe, the Saudi interior ministry says. Muslims also flock to the country for the umra pilgrimage, which can be performed at any time of the year.

With that in mind, the kingdom's Culture and Information Ministry recently launched two digital platforms in the lead-up to this year's Hajj season.

And with the quota system in place and the ever-increasing travel costs, it's a given that not everyone will get to perform the pilgrimage.

TRT World 's Yasmin Khatun-Dewan has more.

But the threat from extremists has not put off pilgrims such as Fatima, from Perpignan in southern France.

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