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In pictures: Dramatically downsized Hajj, Belarus opposition rally and western Europe's heatwave

This is our selection of the best pictures from this week.

The last seven days have seen the Hajj pilgrimage begin at Mecca in Saudi Arabia, Islam's holiest site. But the event was dramatically scaled back this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Back in Europe, thousands rallied in Belarus' capital Minsk in support of opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. She is challenging the country's long-time leader Alexander Lukashenko in presidential elections on August 9.

While the metaphorical temperature is rising in Belarus, parts of western Europe have been hit by scorchingly-hot weather.

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