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A hotel in the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca, where two million Muslims will perform the annual hajj pilgrimage, was evacuated today after a fire broke out, the civil defence service said.

Civil defence spokesman Nayef al-Sharif said no casualties were reported in the fire, which was sparked by a faulty air conditioning unit on the eighth floor of a hotel in the Azaziyah district of Mecca.

All 600 residents, most of whom had come from Turkey and Yemen for the hajj pilgrimage, were
evacuated and have since returned to the hotel, Sharif said.



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