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Hajj pilgrims 'stone the devil' amid tight security

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Hajj pilgrims 'stone the devil' amid tight security

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Muslim pilgrims hurled stones at walls representing Satan as part of a key ritual during the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, on the second day of Eid al Adha celebrations.

The “stoning of the devil” at Jamarat in Mina in one of the main rites of the Hajj, and one that caused a devastating stampede last year, where more than 2,000 people are thought to have died.

As of midday on Tuesday (September 13), no incident had been reported.

Security has been stepped up to control the crowds and avoid a repeat of last year’s disaster, when two large groups of pilgrims arrived at the same time at crossroads in Mina as they were on their way to perform the stoning ritual.

Egyptian pilgrim Omar al Naggar said he felt that security had improved this year.

“This year, thank God, the atmosphere was really calm and security personnel are preparing people, standing at the entrances and exits, not allowing people to sleep on the streets,” he said.

“They organised it well. They worked out the security really well.”

Saudi authorities say they have deployed close to 100,000 security forces across the site and are using CCTV and electronic bracelets to monitor the crowds.

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