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 717 pilgrims killed in haj stampede in Saudi Arabia. PHOTOS

The death toll from a stampede on Thursday during the annual Muslim haj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia has risen to 717 people of various nationalities, the Saudi civil defense said.

The number of victims is increasing.

It was reported earlier by Censor.NET citing AFP's Twitter of at least 453 dead, 719 hurt in the haj stampede.

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Photo by The New York Times

See more: Collapsed crane hit Mecca's Grand Mosque killing dozens and injuring over 100 worshipers. VIDEO

As reported by CNN, the stampede at the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca occurred Thursday morning during the ritual known as "stoning the devil" in the tent city of Mina, about 2 miles from Mecca, Islam's holiest city.

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Hundreds have been killed in past years during the same ceremony, and it comes only 13 days after a crane collapse killed more than 100 people at another major Islamic holy site, the Grand Mosque in Mecca.

This year, about two million Muslims are participating in the haj.

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