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Immunised pilgrims gather for haj as COVID restrictions limit numbers

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Reuters

MECCA, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) – Muslim pilgrims vaccinated against COVID-19 gathered on Sunday for the annual haj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, which has barred worshippers from abroad for a second year running due to the pandemic and has also restricted entry from inside the kingdom. Clad in white and carrying umbrellas against the blistering summer sun, 60,000 Saudi citizens and residents are performing the rite, a once-in-a-lifetime duty for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it, compared with some 2.5 million in 2019. “I ask God to end the coronavirus, it made us very scared and made th…

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