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Last batch of Hajj Pilgrims depart   
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The last batch of Muslim pilgrims, departed Accra today Friday for the Holy city of Mecca to mark this year's Hajj pilgrimage.

The pilgrims, numbering 539 left aboard a chattered Boeing 747 flight, bringing to an end, departures to the Holy city from the Hajj Village in Accra.

In all, about 2,600 Muslim Pilgrims in less than two weeks have departed Accra for the Holy city.

After the first batch of Pilgrims numbering 266 had taken off on November 10th, 2009 in a chattered Egypt Air flight, other Egypt Air flights sent the Pilgrims to Mecca in batches of 266 on a daily basis.

Government's intervention in the organisation of the Hajj this year has contributed significantly to the success of the pilgrimage.

For many years, Hajj pilgrims had gone through frustration and toil. Pilgrims have had to wait for several days to join flights, which never turned up due to poor organization.

They had typically slept in the open amidst extremely unhygienic surroundings and exposed to criminals as well as the effects of the weather to wait for travel flights.

This time around, they were provided with air-conditioned make-shift tents, each of which was fitted with a television set that afforded the pilgrims to get abreast with news and other programs, as they awaited their flights.

The Hajj village situated at the Elwak Stadium in Accra came with hygienic washrooms, a health post, neat food joints and all other facilities that would make the pilgrims comfortable.

Alhaji Abdul Fatah Muhamed, Greater Accra Regional Secretary of the Tijaniya Muslim Movement, commenting on the success of this year's Hajj said: "We are highly impressed this time round. Every one is in fully air-conditioned rooms. No shortage of water, toilets and sanitation all good...

"We appreciate the President and the Vice President for the enormous work they have done. They have set a record that can never be broken," he said.

The Pilgrims are expected back after November 30th, 2009.

The Hajj in Mecca from November 25th, 2009.
Source: GNA

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