18 INJURED IN MECCA STAMPEDE

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Eighteen pilgrims have been reported injured in a stampede near Islam’s holiest site, Saudi media reported yesterday, as the kingdom continues to review safety after a deadly crush during last year’s Hajj. The incident happened on Friday night near the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the Al-Riyadh newspaper said, as Muslims gathered in large numbers to mark the Night of Destiny, one of the high points of the Ramadan fast.

All the injured were treated at the scene and none required admission to hospital; the newspaper cited a health official as saying. Every year, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims flock to Mecca to carry out the lesser Umra pilgrimage during Ramadan — especially during its last 10 days.

They include the Night of Destiny, when the angel Gabriel is believed to have given the Prophet Mohammed the verses of the Quran.

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