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Pilgrims wrap up Muslim hajj in Saudi Arabia

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[November 18, 2010]  MECCA, Saudi Arabia (AP) -- Crowds of Muslim pilgrims are performing the final rituals of the annual hajj, stoning symbols of the devil and circling the Kaaba, Islam's holiest site.

Some 2.8 million Muslims from all over the world were participating in the pilgrimage this year, and many are finishing the rites on Thursday.

The pilgrims walked seven times around the Kaaba, a cube-shaped shrine in Mecca, in what is known as the "farewell" circumambulation.

Others were in the desert valley of Mina, several miles away, throwing stones at three walls representing Satan in a symbolic rejection of temptation, a ceremony that has been going on since Tuesday.

While many pilgrims complete their hajj Thursday, some will continue for another day of stoning.

[Associated Press; By SARAH EL DEEB]

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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