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Saudis Brace For Millions Performing Hajj Pilgrimage

Muslims pilgrims walk to perform ritual

Muslims pilgrims walk to perform ritual "stoning of the devil" in Mina, in Saudi Arabia, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2007. Thousands of Muslim pilgrims threw pebbles at stone pillar representing the devil in third day of Hajj carrying out a cleansing ritual at a site just outside the holy city of Mecca that has been the scene of disasters in previous years.(AP Photo/Hasan Sarbakhshian)

JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AP) - Saudi Arabia has deployed some
100,000 security personnel to keep order as Muslims flood into the
holy city of Mecca for the annual hajj pilgrimage.

All able-bodied Muslims are required by their faith to perform the hajj at least once in their lives, if they can financially afford it, to cleanse their sins.

Nearly three million pilgrims from around the world are expected to perform the hajj this weekend.

This year's pilgrimage takes place just over a week after terror attacks in Mumbai, India, where suspected Islamic militants killed 171 and injured more than 300 others.

Last year, Saudi police arrested 28 militants who were allegedly
planning to attack sites around the holy cities of Mecca and Medina
during the hajj.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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