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Two Million Muslims Begin Annual Hajj Pilgrimage

Muslim pilgrims pray as the sun sets at the Plain of Arafat during the annual pilgrimage, known as the hajj, near Mecca, Saudi Arabia, on Thursday.
Image: Muslim pilgrims pray as the sun sets at the Plain of Arafat during the annual pilgrimage, known as the hajj,
Muslim pilgrims pray as the sun sets at the Plain of Arafat during the annual pilgrimage, known as the hajj, near Mecca, Saudi Arabia, on Oct. 2.Khalid Mohammed / AP

Muslim pilgrims pray as the sun sets at the Plain of Arafat during the annual pilgrimage, known as the Hajj, near Mecca, Saudi Arabia, on Thursday. Saudi Arabia sought to assure the public that the kingdom was safe and free of health scares as an estimated 2 million Muslims streamed into a sprawling tent city near Mecca on Thursday for the start of the annual Islamic Hajj pilgrimage.

Indonesian Muslim pilgrims arrive at Mount Arafat, near the holy city of Mecca, on Thursday. Vast crowds of Muslim pilgrims, dressed all in white, head to Mount Arafat in western Saudi Arabia to take part in the main rituals of the annual Hajj.MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH / AFP - Getty Images