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Grand Mosque of Mecca almost empty for Eid al-Fitr prayers

The Grand Mosque in Mecca is almost empty for Eid al-Fitr prayers (Picture: Getty, AFP)

The Grand Mosque of Mecca in Saudi Arabia was deserted during the annual Eid al-Fitr prayers due to coronavirus restrictions.

The mosque, which surrounds the Kaaba in the holy city, is usually buzzing with activity but this year rules have been imposed to prevent public gatherings.

A small number of worshippers attended prayers to mark the Eid al-Fitr festival on Sunday, the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Saudi officials on Friday said mosques would remained closed for the festival and urged muslims to hold Eid prayers at home.

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The country began a five-day, round-the-clock curfew on Saturday after Covid-19 infections more than quadrupled since the start of Ramadan to around 68,000 – the highest in the Gulf.

There were subdued Eid celebrations across the world, including the UK, due to restrictions imposed to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Eid al-Fitr is also called the ‘Festival of Breaking the Fast’.

It begins with the sighting of the crescent moon – countries where it was visible on Friday night celebrate on Saturday, others wait until Sunday.

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