Pilgrims heading back to Mecca for final prayers

14/08/2019 - 19:07 Published in News/General

Millions of haj pilgrims began heading back to Mecca for final prayers on Tuesday as the world’s largest annual gathering of Muslims wound down without incident.

Senior officials said there had been no major incidents and the logistical, security and health plans had been successful, even with some heavy rainfall.

Pilgrims participated in a symbolic stoning of the devil, part of the haj rituals, in Jamarat before returning to Mecca, where the Grand Mosque filled with worshippers preparing to depart.

Nearly 2.5 million pilgrims, most of them from abroad, came for the five-day ritual this year. Attendance is a religious duty, once in a lifetime, for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it.