01:54 GMT +313 December 2018
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    STAVROPOL, January 14 (RIA Novosti corr. Valery Oliyanchuk) - The first groups of Russian pilgrims making a hajj have left for Saudi Arabia.

    The North Caucasian frontier directorate of the Federal Security Service told RIA Novosti that over the past 24 hours 20 organized groups of pilgrims totaling 700 people crossed the Azeri-Russian border on their way to Muslim holy places.

    The checkpoints began to count people who formalized their documents for travelling to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday morning.

    Last year, according to frontier service's data, 3,700 pilgrims traveled to Saudi Arabia from the North Caucasian regions.

    The law enforcement bodies are taking measures to prevent Chechen warlords and wounded militants from leaving Russia under the guise of pilgrims, the frontier service reported.

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