BEIJING: A total of 284 Chinese Muslim Hajj pilgrims from Southwest China 's Yunnan Province reportedly arrived at the Medina Airport in a chartered flight on Sunday, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Sunday.
The group is the first batch of Chinese Muslim pilgrims sent to Islamic holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia for Hajj, marking the beginning of this year's pilgrimage arrangement, the report added.
Ma Jin, deputy director of the Islamic Department of the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA), together with vice president of the Islamic Association of China from Northwest China 's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, who arrived in Medina in advance, welcomed the group at the airport.
This year, more than 12,000 Chinese Muslims will travel to Mecca for the pilgrimage. They will be carried in charter flights, traveling from Beijing and some provincial capital cities including Urumqi of Xinjiang and Lanzhou, capital of Northwest China 's Gansu Province, to Medina, the vice president was quoted by the news agency.
The pilgrims will stay for five days in Medina and then take a bus to Mecca for the Hajj.
The association has also deployed more than 60 staffers to provide instructions and medical and security services for the pilgrims, helping them to perform the pilgrimage in a safe, orderly, and civilized way, said the vice president.