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    NORTH CAUCASIAN MUSLIMS MAKING PILGRIMAGE TO SAUDI ARABIA

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    STAVROPOL, December 28. ( RIA Novosti) - The formations and units of the border-guards of Russia's Southern federal district are fully prepared for the registration of the Muslim pilgrims making a hadj to Saudi Arabia and their border crossing, the press-service of the North Caucasian regional border department of the Russian FSB told RIA Novosti.

    First of all this concerns the motor transport checkpoints on the Russian-Azerbaijani border, as well as all airports in the North Caucasus. For example, about 5,000 pilgrims crossed the checkpoints on the section of the regional department last year.

    In the opinion of the staff of the border control service, the largest flow of pilgrims will cross the state border, just like last year, through the checkpoints at the airport of Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan.

    It is expected that in the near future up to 9,000 Russian pilgrims making the hadj will cross the state border. They are recommended to cross the land border before January 11, 2005.

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