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Muslim pilgrims start second downsized Hajj amid COVID pandemic

Hajj pilgrims streamed out of the holy city of Mecca and into the Mina valley on Sunday, launching the rituals of the great pilgrimage which Saudi Arabia is holding in a scaled-down form for a second year.

Only 60,000 fully vaccinated citizens and residents between the ages of 18 and 65 are allowed to take part, far from the vast crowds that descend on Mecca in normal times when the ritual drew up to 2.5 million pilgrims.

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