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Image of Asia: Starting the hajj in Kashmir

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Photo - A Kashmiri Muslim pilgrim, back to camera, is hugged by her relative as she leaves for the annual hajj pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, in Srinagar, India, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014. The hajj pilgrimage, which is among the five pillars of Islam, attracts around 3 million Muslims worldwide each year. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
A Kashmiri Muslim pilgrim, back to camera, is hugged by her relative as she leaves for the annual hajj pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, in Srinagar, India, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014. The hajj pilgrimage, which is among the five pillars of Islam, attracts around 3 million Muslims worldwide each year. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
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In this photo by Dar Yasin, a Muslim in Indian-ruled Kashmir is hugged by her relative before leaving on the hajj to Mecca. Governments of many countries help arrange travel for local Muslims making the journey, and daily flights from Kashmir's main city, Srinagar, to Saudi Arabia started Wednesday and continue until Sept. 12. More than 3 million Muslims worldwide make the pilgrimage each year, but recent reports say Saudi Arabia plans to restrict the number this year to about 1.3 million because of construction projects in the holy city.

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AP photographers on Twitter: http://apne.ws/1ox8vgG

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