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Muslims in NW China region begin annual pilgrimage to Mecca

(Xinhua)

09:16, October 18, 2011

Muslims in Ningxia going for Mecca pilgrimage go through procedures before boarding the charter flight at the airport in Yinchuan, capital of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Oct. 17, 2011. The first group of 332 Muslims in Ningxia going for pilgrimage in Mecca of Saudi Arabia left Yinchuan on a charter flight on Monday. About 13,800 Muslims in China, including 2,656 from Ningxia, will go to Mecca for pilgrimage this year. (Xinhua/Peng Zhaozhi)

YINCHUAN, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- Altogether 332 Chinese Muslims from northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region flew to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, via a charter flight Monday for their annual pilgrimage.

They were among the first group of Muslims in Ningxia who will go to Mecca on a government-organized trip this year, said Li Yushan, of the Ningxia Regional Administration of Religious Affairs.

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