Around 180,000 Muslims prayed at east Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa mosque compound on Friday, the first in the holy month of Ramadhan. The figure is 50 per cent higher than last year, when around 120,000 people attended the first Friday prayers. Azzam al Khatib, director general of Waqf, said the crowds reached the site ‘despite checkpoints and a large security presence’. The prayers ended without any major incident, he said. – AFP