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Hajj draws to a close as Eid al-Adha begins

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Hajj draws to a close as Eid al-Adha begins


Around three million Muslim pilgrims are in Saudi Arabia on the penultimate day of the Hajj festival. They symbolically stoned Satan in a valley near the holy city of Mina.

Muslims from all over the world have made the journey to the holy cities of Mecca to carry out the fifth pillar of their religion. It is a duty that should be carried out at least once by all able-bodied Muslims.

In addition, today is the start of another Islamic holiday, Eid al-Adha. It commemorates the time when Abraham was willing to and nearly sacrificed his son Ishmael to God. Instead a lamb was killed in Ishmael’s place.

In Pakistan, mindful of possible Taliban attacks, security was stepped up as worshippers attended special services at mosques. As part of the celebrations, sheep, goats, cows and camels are slaughtered, with the meat shared out to needy people.

In central Bagdad, thousands of Iraqis gathered for Eid prayers, with Shi’ite muslims starting their festivities a day later than Sunnis.

It is traditionally a time for gifts, such as clothes and toys and it is a time of fun with fairground rides put up in public parks.

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