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Pakistanis, first Hajj pilgrims to arrive in Saud Arabia

Islamabad, July 25, The first Hajj flight carrying 328 pilgrims left Pakistan's Islamabad airport on Monday for Medina to be the first Hajj convoy in Saudi Arabia

The pilgrims were seen off at the airport by Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousaf.

Speaking on the occasion, Sardar Muhammad Yousaf said the ministry has made elaborate arrangements in Mecca and Medina to facilitate the pilgrims in the best possible manner.

Over 178,000 Pakistanis will perform Hajj this year. The figure shows 35,000 increase comparing to 2016. Last year 143,000 people from Pakistan performed Hajj pilgrimage.

Many pilgrims including over 100 Pakistanis and hundreds of Iranians were killed during a disaster caused by mismanagement in 2015 Hajj annual congregation when, according to reports, two large groups of pilgrims arrived together at a crossroads in Mina, a few kilometers east of Mecca, on their way to performing the 'Stoning of the Devil' ritual at Jamarat.

In another incident in the same year 111 Hajis, including 15 Pakistanis, were killed and 394 injured when a crane toppled over onto the Masjid al-Haram, the Grand Mosque in Mecca.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency

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