Fire forces 1,000 Asian pilgrims from Mecca hotel

About 1,000 Asian pilgrims were evacuated early Thursday from their hotel in the Saudi city of Mecca, hit by a fire that injured two people, the civil defence agency said.

Mecca: About 1,000 Asian pilgrims were evacuated early Thursday from their hotel in the Saudi city of Mecca, hit by a fire that injured two people, the civil defence agency said.

Firefighters "rescued two pilgrims who were hurt" by the fire in an eighth-floor room of the unnamed hotel, the agency said.

More than one million faithful have already arrived in Mecca for this year`s hajj, which begins Tuesday.

The agency also did not give the nationality of the pilgrims, nor say what caused the blaze.

The hajj is the world`s biggest annual event. It is one of the five pillars of Islam, and every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it is expect to make the pilgrimage at least once.

The hajj has been almost incident-free for the past decade, but at least 107 people, including some from Asia, died Friday when a construction crane collapsed on Mecca`s Grand Mosque.

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