10 September 2016

Muslim pilgrims begin hajj, but this year without Iranians

Muslim pilgrims make their way at the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. Muslim pilgrims have begun arriving at the holiest sites in Islam ahead of the annual hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.
Close to 2 million people from around the world began performing the first rites of the Islamic hajj pilgrimage on Saturday, which calls for entering into a state of physical and spiritual purity and circling the cube-shaped Kaaba with their palms facing upward in supplication and prayer.
Notably absent this year are Iranian pilgrims. Last year, some 64,000 Iranians took part in the hajj, but disputes with the Saudi government prompted Tehran to bar its citizens from taking part this year.

12 dead, 16 hurt in explosion and fire at Bangladesh factory

Firefighters work to put out the fire at a packaging factory in Tongi industy area outside Dhaka, Bangladesh, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016. A boiler exploded and triggered a fire at a packaging factory near Bangladesh's capital.
A boiler exploded and triggered a fire at a packaging factory near Bangladesh's capital, leaving at least 12 people dead and 16 others injured on Saturday, officials said.
Several bodies were recovered from the five-story Tampaco Foils Ltd. factory in the Tongi industrial area outside Dhaka, fire official Mohammed Rafiquzzaman said. A doctor on duty at the Tongi Hospital said nine bodies were in the mortuary as officials waited for family members to identify them.