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26.12.2006 General News

Ghana` Hadj Council lifts 486 pilgrims to Mecca

By AP
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The National Hadj Council on Monday said some 486 stranded Ghanaian pilgrims were airlifted to Mecca earlier in the day as it desperately tries to secure flights for the angry pilgrims.

The Executive Director of the National Hadj Council, Alhaji Nuhu Kamagtey said the plane was expected back to continue with the airlifting and negotiations were underway for an extension of the deadline for all flights to be in Saudi Arabia by midnight on Monday.

He said only a limited number of pilgrims were allowed as special concessions after the deadline.

But Alhaji Kamagtey said although the council was exerting all efforts to ensure that stranded pilgrims in Ghana got airlifted to Mecca, it not guaranteed that all would-be pilgrims to travel before the Saudi airport was closed to traffic.

About 1,200 Ghanaian pilgrims have already left for Mecca with some 800 still stranded at Kotoka international airport in Accra.

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