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30 Aug 2017

2017 Hajj: Saudi Arabia bans 400,000 intending pilgrims from entering Mecca

The authorities of Saudi Arabia said no fewer than 400,000 illegal intending pilgrims have been banned from entering the Holy land of Muslims, Mecca for not having Hajj permits.
According to Saudi Press Agency, this was highlighted by the interior ministry during a news conference on Hajj security plans, designed to accommodate more than two million pilgrims expected to perform this year’s Hajj rites.

The authorities however noted that they have taken serious steps, including fine and jail terms against violators to ensure smooth Hajj operation for the pilgrims.

Spokesperson of Saudi Interior Ministry, Mansour Turki disclosed that the security services had dismantled a number of militant cells in Mecca and Medina over the past few years.

He noted that strict measures were in place at the entrances to Mecca, Medina and other holy sites as well as airports and seaports.

“So, we do not overlook the reality of such potential threats and we take all necessary preventative measures,’’ he said.

Turki said that the security forces had taken all necessary measures to prevent a stampede like the one that killed hundreds of pilgrims in 2015, without providing details.

He also urged pilgrims to abide by their assigned schedule for performing the sacred rituals.

“Each group must abide by the specified paths assigned to them while throwing the jamarat,” he said, referring to one of the critical stages of Hajj when pilgrims conduct the ritual stoning.

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