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Hajj pilgrims bid farewell at shrine

January 03, 2007|From Times Wire Reports

Muslims circled the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, for a final time in a hajj that passed without any repetition of the deadly stampedes that have marred past pilgrimages.

Hundreds of thousands of the faithful returned to Mecca to perform the "farewell" circling of the Kaaba, a cube-shaped stone structure draped in black cloth that Muslims around the world face during daily prayers.

After they packed up to go, many headed for nearby markets to buy mementos and gifts.

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