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At least 150 people have been killed in a stampede at the annual Hajj pilgrimage, Saudi Arabia’s civil defense directorate said.

The directorate said at least 400 other pilgrims were injured in Thursday’s stampede, which took place in Mina, on the outskirts of the holy city of Mecca.

Some 2 million people are taking part in this year’s Hajj pilgrimage, which began on Tuesday.

Al Jazeera’s Omar Alsaleh, reporting from Mecca, said the number of deaths may rise.

“This is only the initial number … The Hajj season was already overshadowed by the crane accident that killed 107 people and wounded more than 200. That area has turned to a big massive construction site to allow more pilgrims to visit Mecca during Hajj.” (Al Jazeera)