Saudis admit Iraqi pilgrims who were denied entry

December 20, 2006 17:16


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Saudi Arabia has agreed to admit hundreds of Iraqi pilgrims stranded at the border, where four have died, after the Iraqi government appealed to the Saudi king, an Iraqi official said Wednesday. The pilgrims were denied entry for several days apparently because they did not have visas issued for the annual pilgrimage or "hajj" to Mecca this month. Four pilgrims died while camping in the chilly weather in the desert along the Saudi-Iraqi border, Iraqi government spokesman Zahid al-Bayati told The Associated Press. "We asked the king to end the suffering of the stranded pilgrims and he responded positively to our appeal," al-Bayati said of King Abdullah. "All the pilgrims who came by land are now in Saudi Arabia. We extend our thanks to the Saudi king," he added.

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