Oct. 14 - The sun sets on the first day of Haj where almost two million people take part in the Muslim pilgrimage. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION).
STORY: An estimated two million Muslims were in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, on Monday morning (October 14) for the start of the annual Haj pilgrimage.
The numbers were thinned by the threat of the deadly MERS coronavirus, which has killed 51 in the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia has so far recorded no cases of the deadly MERS coronavirus among pilgrims in the holy city of Mecca for the annual haj season, the Ministry of Health said on Saturday (October 12). The strain emerged last year and some health officials had feared there could be a large outbreak in a huge congregation of pilgrims from the Muslim world.
Muslim pilgrims poured onto the plain of Arafat, south-east of Mecca to mark the Day of Arafat during the pilgrimage.
The Day of Arafat, considered the most important day during the Muslim pilgrimage of Haj, sees pilgrims making their way to the site of Mount Arafat to spend much of the day in prayer. It is also the site where Muslims believe the Prophet Muhammad delivered his last sermon to believers.
The annual Haj begins in the 12th month of the Islamic year, which is lunar, not solar.
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