Just 60,000 people, all citizens or residents of Saudi Arabia, have been selected to take part in this year's Hajj, with foreign pilgrims again barred due to the restrictions over coronavirus pandemic.
At least 19 people were killed and 50 others injured after a speeding bus, with pilgrims returning from southern province of Sindh, overturned in Khuzdar, a district in Balochistan province.
Before Covid-19 pandemic, some 2.5 million pilgrims would visit the holiest sites of Islam in Mecca and Medina for the week-long pilgrimage, which combined with the year-round Umrah pilgrimage, would earn the kingdom $12 billion a year.
One of India's largest Hindu festivals, the Kumbh Mela or pitcher festival that runs until end April kicks off even as officials report the biggest surge in coronavirus cases for three months.
Qatar says it has become impossible to register for the annual religious event for its nationals under a quota system, adding a diplomatic dispute is not stopping Qataris from making the pilgrimage to Mecca.
As pilgrims complete the first of the three days of symbolically stoning the devil, security personnel keep watch over the crowd from a command and control centre located in Mina.
Day one of the symbolic pelting of the devil, known as the Jamarat ritual, has gone off without a hitch.
The hajj reached its high point Sunday when Muslims from across the world converged on a stony hill in Saudi Arabia, a year after the worst tragedy in the pilgrimage's history.
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