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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

2nd Hajj Fire Extinguished, No Injuries

MECCA, Saudi Arabia -- As a sea of 2 million Muslims began the final stages of the annual pilgrimage marred by a tragic fire, officials reported Thursday that yet another blaze had broken out.


Civil defense authorities said a fire -- in the same Mina encampment as the first blaze -- was contained in half an hour.


There were no reports of casualties, they said. The officials spoke on the customary condition their names not be used.


Saudi officials said Wednesday at least 343 people were killed in Tuesday's blaze. Nearly 1,300 were injured, many critically, and the death toll was expected to rise.


Thursday's fire occurred to the west of the site devastated two days earlier. Most of the pilgrims were still performing rites, and only a few were in the camp when the fire broke out.


On Thursday, some pilgrims were torn between carrying out the rituals of the pilgrimage -- concluding with the slaughter of sheep, cows and camels to mark the Feast of Sacrifice or Eid al-Adha -- and seeking news of missing friends and relatives. The ritual commemorates the slaughter of a ram by the biblical Abraham, or Ibrahim in Arabic, in place of his son.