Hajj pilgrims take part in 'devil stoning' ritual

Millions of Muslim pilgrims from around the world have taken part in the symbolic stoning of the devil in Saudi Arabia amid tight security measures two years after a deadly stampede.

The ritual at the Jamarat Bridge in Mina near Mecca marks the final major rite of the hajj, a five-day pilgrimage which all Muslims must perform at least once if physically and financially able.

The stampede in Mina in 2015 claimed the lives of 2,300 people - the worst disaster in the history of the hajj.

Saudi Arabia says it has deployed more than 100,000 security personnel to keep pilgrims safe this year.

This was the scene as pilgrims slept in the street as they made their way to Muzdalifah to spend the night and collect the 49 pebbles which will be thrown in the stoning of the devil ritual in Mena, Mecca, Saudi Arabia

This was the scene as pilgrims slept in the street as they made their way to Muzdalifah to spend the night and collect the 49 pebbles which will be thrown in the stoning of the devil ritual in Mena, Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Millions of Muslim pilgrims from around the world have taken part in the symbolic stoning of the devil in Saudi Arabia amid tight security measures two years after a deadly stampede

Millions of Muslim pilgrims from around the world have taken part in the symbolic stoning of the devil in Saudi Arabia amid tight security measures two years after a deadly stampede

The ritual at the Jamarat Bridge in Mina near Mecca marks the final major rite of the hajj, a five-day pilgrimage which all Muslims must perform at least once if physically and financially able

The ritual at the Jamarat Bridge in Mina near Mecca marks the final major rite of the hajj, a five-day pilgrimage which all Muslims must perform at least once if physically and financially able

Saudi Arabia says it has deployed more than 100,000 security personnel to keep pilgrims safe this year. Worshippers are pictured taking a rest during the pilgrimage

Saudi Arabia says it has deployed more than 100,000 security personnel to keep pilgrims safe this year. Worshippers are pictured taking a rest during the pilgrimage

The huge crowds took part in the stoning rite under strict surveillance, with police tape guiding the flow of pilgrims, cameras installed everywhere and helicopters hovering overhead.

Traditionally, seven pebbles are thrown at a post representing the devil, emulating the actions of Abraham.

Since 2004, it has been replaced by walls to accommodate the rising numbers of pilgrims.

Security forces misted pilgrims with water as they made their way to the Jamarat Bridge under the hot sun.

By 8am, pilgrims were already reaching for their umbrellas as temperatures rose above 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit).

'Two pilgrims fainted in front of me this morning,' said Almas Khattak, a Pakistani volunteer in Mina.

The shadow of the 2015 stampede still looms large over the ritual.

Huge crowds took part in the stoning rite under strict surveillance, with police tape guiding the flow of pilgrims, cameras installed everywhere and helicopters hovering overhead.

Huge crowds took part in the stoning rite under strict surveillance, with police tape guiding the flow of pilgrims, cameras installed everywhere and helicopters hovering overhead.

Muslim worshippers collect pebbles which will be thrown during the stoning of the devil ritual in Mena during the Hajj pilgrimage in Muzdalifah, near Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Muslim worshippers collect pebbles which will be thrown during the stoning of the devil ritual in Mena during the Hajj pilgrimage in Muzdalifah, near Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Iran, which reported the largest number of victims in the disaster, did not send its pilgrims to hajj last year, as political tension between Tehran and rival Riyadh was on the

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