- Title: SAUDI ARABIA: HAJ PILGRIMS PREPARE TO STONE TARGETS SYMBOLISING THE DEVIL.
- Date: 22nd January 2005
- Summary: (W3) MENA, SAUDI ARABIA (JANUARY 21, 2005) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. VARIOUS: PILGRIMS IN THE AREA; STONING AREA; PILGRIMS AND SECURITY MEN; PILGRIMS (12 SHOTS) 1.04 2. GV/MV/CU: PARKED AMBULANCES; MEDIC ATTENDING TO ELDERLY PILGRIM OUTSIDE AMBULANCE; AMBULANCES AND PILGRIMS (6 SHOTS) 1.44 3. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HEAD OF MEDICAL TEAM, DOCTOR MAAN KALO SAYING: "We are a special unit for emergencies to provide first aid and to help critical conditions. We have several ambulances in Mena and we haven't had any major problems." 2.12 4. VARIOUS: STONING AREA; PILGRIMS; HELICOPTER FLYING; PILGRIMS (8 SHOTS) 2.55 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 6th February 2005 12:00
- Location: MENA, SAUDI ARABIA
- Country: Saudi Arabia
- Reuters ID: LVAYWR5BTD2WI2OR8YXQFXCCAUU
- Story Text: Thousands of Muslims on a Haj pilgrimage stone
targets symbolising the devil as part of their religious
Haj pilgrims pelted stones at symbols of the devil
in Mena, Saudi Arabia on Friday (January 21). More than 2.5
million Muslims streamed into the area for the stoning,
meant as an act of purification and rejection of temptation.
Last year, 250 people were crushed to death at Mena's
Jamarat Bridge, but so far new measures by the Saudi
authorities have averted any stampedes.
Saudi Arabia has revamped the Jamarat area, expanding
the stoning targets and employing thousands of security
forces to control the crowd.
Pilgrims, in white robes meant to eradicate differences
in race and class between Muslims, have poured into the
Jamarat area since Thursday (January 20), the first day of
the stoning ritual and the start of the Eid al-Adha feast.
Most pilgrims will finish the stoning ritual by Friday
-- the penultimate day of the haj -- and then go to Mecca
to circle the Kaaba, which symbolises the house of God, for
the final time.
Saudi Arabia's King Fahd and Crown Prince Abdullah, in
a joint speech, urged Muslims to shun terrorism which they
said meant "warring against God and his Prophet", to follow
teachings of moderation and forgiveness and to unite.
The Haj is a once-in-a-lifetime duty for every
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