Riyadh - In Saudi Arabia, close to 2 million pilgrims performed one of the final rites of the Islamic hajj pilgrimage, the symbolic stoning of the devil, as Muslims worldwide marked the start of the Eid al-Adha holiday.
The rite takes place in the Saudi valley area of Mina, where a crush of crowds and stampede killed more than 2 400 people during last year's hajj, according to an Associated Press count.
This week, younger pilgrims helped their parents, some in wheelchairs, make their way toward the massive multi-story Jamarat Complex in Mina where pilgrims cast pebbles at three large columns.
It is here where Muslims believe the devil tried to talk the Prophet Ibrahim out of submitting to God's will.
Most pilgrims will remained in Mina for three days performing the stoning ritual for three days and sleeping in tents at night before completing the hajj.