Saudi authorities deployed drones to watch over nearly 2 million pilgrims as they descended Mount Arafat on Sunday and entered the haj’s final stages, Reuters reported.
The move is said to be part of efforts to avoid a repeat of last year’s stampede that killed hundreds of pilgrims.
Authorities have deployed drones to reinforce a network of electronic surveillance of the crowds that would alert authorities to intervene quickly if necessary.
Saudi Arabia has said that 1.855 million pilgrims, most of them from outside Saudi Arabia, have arrived for the annual pilgrimage, a religious duty for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford the journey.
Saudi Arabia stakes its reputation on its guardianship of Islam’s holiest sites and organizing haj.
By Ibrahim Umar