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Indonesia stops hajj pilgrims traveling to Saudi Arabia this year

Malaysia waits for Riyadh's decision as COVID-19 threatens Islamic gathering

Muslims pray at the Grand Mosque during the annual hajj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in August 2019.   © Reuters

JAKARTA/KUALA LUMPUR -- Indonesia said Tuesday that it will not send any pilgrims to Saudi Arabia during this year's hajj season in July because the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted tightly scheduled preparations for one of the world's largest religious gatherings.

Indonesia has traditionally sent the largest contingent to Islam's holiest cities, Mecca and Medina, every year. It was supposed to send 221,000 hajj pilgrims this July.

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