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Saudi Royals' Hajj Message Urges Muslims to Shun Terrorism

Saudi Arabia's King Fahd and Crown Prince Abdullah are calling on Muslims to reject terrorism and work to uproot the corrupt and destructive behavior.

In a joint address Friday to pilgrims attending the Hajj, the leaders said terrorism runs counter to the teachings of Islam and blamed the violence on people claiming to belong to Islam who believe in deviant ideas.

Millions of pilgrims gathered in Mina for a second day Friday to throw stones at pillars symbolizing Satan. This is the final and often the most dangerous Hajji ritual. Since last year, the Saudi government has improved safety measures to reduce congestion, which has led to fatal stampedes at the site.

The Hajj is a once-in-a-lifetime duty for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to attend. It is estimated that a record breaking 2.5 million pilgrims from around the world have come to Saudi Arabia to take part in the ancient ceremony.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.