Muslim pilgrims 'stone the devil' as haj nears end

STORY: Saudi authorities have been keen to ensure an incident-free haj, which has been marred in the past by deadly crushes.

Helicopters hovered overhead while security officers organised the flow of worshippers in Jamarat, where the stoning ritual takes place.

Iranian pilgrim Hasan Saeid said he came "full of energy" to perform the ritual.

Saudi Arabia has said up to one million pilgrims, mostly from abroad, are expected this haj season after two years of disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

That is down from some 2.6 million pilgrims who visited Islam's two holiest sites in Mecca and Medina for haj in 2019.