Chechen president makes pilgrimage to Mecca

Ramzan Kadyrov - formerly a feared strongman linked to human rights abuses, and now Chechnya's president - is visiting the holy city of Mecca for a pilgrimage and is to meet with the Saudi King Abdullah, news agencies reported on Monday. Kadyrov, who visited Mecca in March, performed the Umrah - among devout Muslims, a recommended but lesser pilgrimage than the Hajj - after arrival Sunday in Saudi Arabia, reported the Saudi Press Agency. He is to meet Abdullah on Tuesday, the agency said.