Mecca Under Siege : Throughline Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, is effectively canceled this year, due to concerns around the spread of the coronavirus. But, for two weeks in 1979, visits to the holy site were also upended when a group of Islamic militants seized Mecca, taking thousands of visitors hostage.
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Mecca Under Siege

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Mecca Under Siege

Mecca Under Siege

Mecca Under Siege

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/886006766/897211788" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, is effectively cancelled this year, due to concerns around the spread of the coronavirus. But, for two weeks in 1979, visits to the holy site were also upended when a group of Islamic militants seized Mecca, taking thousands of visitors hostage.


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