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Thu 19 Nov 2009 10:57 AM

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Pilgrims gather in Makkah for hajj

Pilgrims gather in Makkah for hajj
Muslim pilgrims gather at the Grand Mosque in Makkah. Some 2.5 million Muslims from more than 160 countries make the annual hajj pilgrimage. (Getty Images)
Pilgrims gather in Makkah for hajj
A Muslim pilgrim prays outside the Grand Mosque. The hajj pilgrimage - to be completed at least once in a Muslim's lifetime, under the tenets of Islam - can be undertaken at any time, but peaks this year from November 25 to 29. (Getty Images)
Pilgrims gather in Makkah for hajj
Muslim men from Russia's Chechnya republic pray before boarding a flight to Saudi Arabia for the hajj. (Getty Images)
Pilgrims gather in Makkah for hajj
Muslim women pray outside the Grand Mosque. (Getty Images)
Pilgrims gather in Makkah for hajj
A general view shows Makkah’s Grand Mosque. (Getty Images)
Pilgrims gather in Makkah for hajj
Muslim pilgrims gather at the Grand Mosque. The number of pilgrims performing this year’s hajj has lessened due to the swine flu pandemic. (Getty Images)