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Middle East

Women on haj without men are deported from Saudi Arabia


The expulsion has begun of 1,100 Nigerian women pilgrims who violated the kingdom's rule prohibiting Muslim women from travelling without a male guardian.

The women were detained after landing at the international airport in Jeddah, and the first 171 were sent back on Thursday.

Women must be accompanied by or have permission from a mahram – a male guardian – in order to travel in Saudi Arabia. But in the past women have been allowed to perform the annual haj pilgrimage in groups with male tour operators.