Over 1.8M Muslim pilgrims start performing Hajj

<p>Mecca, Saudi Arabia <em>(Anadolu photo)</em></p>

Mecca, Saudi Arabia (Anadolu photo)

RIYADH – Over 1.8 million pilgrims from across the globe on Saturday converged on Mount Arafat in the western region of Saudi Arabia to perform the annual Hajj, the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced.

At a press conference, Hajj and Umrah Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said pilgrims began gathering at Arafat, a crucial rite of the Hajj pilgrimage.

The pilgrimage will last for six days.

The minister disclosed that the total number of pilgrims for this year reached over 1.8 million, including 221,854 from within the Kingdom while the others came from over 200 countries.

The Saudi General Authority for Statistics said the number of male pilgrims stood at 958,137, while female pilgrims totaled 875,027.

Arab countries constituted 22.3 percent of the pilgrims, non-Arab Asian countries accounted for 63.3 percent, and non-Arab African countries 11.3 percent.

Pilgrims from Europe, America, Australia, and other unspecified countries comprised 3.2 percent of the total.

Records also showed that from outside the Kingdom, 1,546,345 arrived via air; 60,253 via land; and 4,714 via sea. (Anadolu)