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Last Batch of Pilgrims to leave Accra   
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The last batch of Muslim pilgrims of about 400 for this year's Hajj leave Accra early this Wednesday morning for the holy city of Mecca.

During the past week, over 2000 pilgrims have left Accra for Mecca in groups of 266 aboard Egypt Air flights.

Alhaji Mahama Moro, Wellfare Chairman of the Hajj board, on Tuesday told the Ghana News Agency that this year's Hajj had been completely trouble-free.

He said since the first group of 266 pilgrims left for the Holy city on November 10th, 2009, there had been no set-backs in the flight schedules for the travelling pilgrims.

"Every thing has gone on according to plan," he said.

Alhaji Moro said government was determined to organise a hustle-free pilgrimage to Mecca this year and it had happened.

He said in the earlier part of this month, the Vice President, John Dramani Mahama, inaugurated a makeshift air-conditioned Hajj village at the Elwak Stadium in Accra in fulfilment of that pledge.

Through government's intervention, he said, daily flights were also secured for the pilgrims in order to prevent the situation where pilgrims would pay for their trip and yet have to go back home after several days of being stranded because their flight was unavailable.

The tents at the Hajj village, which had the capacity to hold 400 pilgrims at a time, have standard sanitary facilities, a clinic and dining hall.

In the past years, due to stress, frustration as well as poor sanitary conditions, some pilgrims had even lost their lives.

In an earlier interview also with the GNA, Alhaji Abdul Fatah Muhamed, Greater Accra Regional Secretary of the Tijaniya Muslim Movement, said "We are highly impressed this time round with the organisation.

"Everyone is in a fully air-conditioned room. No water shortage, toilets and sanitation all good.

They can bath, they feel very comfortable. Passports and manifest all ready," he said in appreciation to the government.

Alhaji Muhamed added: "We appreciate the President and the Vice President for the enormous work they have done. They have set a record which can never be broken."
Source: GNA

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