Five Nigerian Hajj pilgrims confirmed dead in Saudi Arabia

Faithful circumambulate the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in Makkah on Monday Yousuf Al Habsi  Oman Tribune

Asked if the authorities had detected any specific plots against this year's hajj, he said: "Not at all". There are a number of the Pakistani pilgrims, mostly scholars and Ulema, who along with those from other countries of the world are given the status of the "special guests of King Salman".

It takes place in and around the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca which is regarded as the holiest city in Islam, as it is believed to be the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad and the site of his first revelation of the Qur'an.

It is one of the five pillars of Islam, or core ritual practices, and considered to be the largest gathering of people in the world, with millions attending every year.

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Much frustration was subsequently directed online towards Osteen, a popular, wealthy and controversial "prosperity gospel" pastor. Remember, Osteen owns Lakewood Church , a converted sports arena that can accommodate more than 16,000 people.

They said on improvement and recovery, the pilgrims would be "discharged to do their Hajj rituals but those who are still sick will be taken by ambulances to the Holy Sites to complete their pilgrimage".

They will also slaughter their sacrificial animals and proceed to the Grand Mosque to do tawaf Al-Ifadah, which culminates the rites. The Saudi government is using the latest in crowd-control techniques to prevent trampling and architectural collapses. Similarly, the crown prince also emphasized the "historical relations between Saudi and Qatari people" after his meeting with Qatar's Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali bin Abdullah bin Jassim al-Thani.

Iran alone reported 464 deaths and subsequently accused the Saudi authorities of being "at fault" for them - a charge Saudi officials rejected.

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With the West Indies in cruise control, England were beginning to worry as the tourists were edging ever closer to victory. Only Australia, with 404 for 3 back in 1948, had made more to win in the fourth innings of a Headingley Test.

Two years ago, a stampede and crush of pilgrims killed at least 2,426 people, according to an Associated Press count. Diplomatic ties between the two countries were severed for four years as a effect. "The haj is the best place", Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted as saying on his official website on July 30, going against a pledge not to politicise the religious event.

"We have a precedent of repeated success in past years in dealing with the outbreak of corona, SARS, and swine and bird flu", he said - awareness campaigns and health requirements for pilgrims kept those outbreaks from reaching the Mecca area.

The hajj is required of all Muslims once in a lifetime.

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The biggest factor that caused the halt is because an already slow August witnessed no major new releases last weekend. The film became the highest-grossing superhero origin movie ever made last week, likely sparking its second wind.

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