Muslim pilgrims stream out of Mecca for hajj high point

Hundreds of thousands of hajj pilgrims began streaming out of Mecca Thursday ahead of the highlight of the annual rites, which have attracted huge crowds despite the continuing pandemic and unforgiving heat.

Many worshippers made the journey on foot to Mina, seven kilometres (four miles) from Mecca’s Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest site, where they circled the imposing black Kaaba at the start of the rituals on Wednesday.