Muslim pilgrims flock to Mecca

Around three million Muslim pilgrims are in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, for the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

On Thursday, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims headed on foot, cars and buses to Mount Arafat,  to pray and meditate at the site where the prophet Mohammed preached his final sermon in the year 632. This was the first major rite of the Hajj.

After Mount Arafat, pilgrims returned to a desert valley outside Mecca for the ritual, symbolizing the stoning of the devil. Among the pilgrims there are some 18 thousand Russian Muslims this year.