Makkah: Saudi forces successfully prevent man from setting himself on fire

A video clip circulating on social media showed a man being hustled away from the Kaaba by pilgrims and security guards.
Updated 07 February 2017

Makkah: Saudi forces successfully prevent man from setting himself on fire

JEDDAH: Saudi security forces successfully prevented a man from setting himself alight beside the Kaaba inside Makkah’s Grand Mosque late on Monday.

The man, who police said shows signs of mental illness, tried to set himself alight with gasoline but was arrested before he could do so.

The media spokesman for the special forces Maj. Raed Sameh Al-Sulami said that a citizen in his 40s was arrested near the Kaaba on Monday at 11 p.m. after pouring gasoline on his clothes.
“He was held before he went on with his dramatic self-immolation act and his behavior indicates that he is mentally ill. All the necessary measures will be taken,” the spokesman said.
Police did not elaborate on what action would be taken following the incident.
A video clip circulating on social media, which could not immediately be verified, showed a man being hustled away from the Kaaba, the black-clad building toward which the world’s Muslims face to pray.
A report by online news site said a citizen saw the man pouring liquid on himself from a flask. Noticing that the liquid was gasoline, he grabbed the flask and shouted for help.
Security guards and police are seen acting swiftly to deal with the incident, aided by pilgrims.
The incident follows another disturbance in 2014, when a man — also described by police as mentally ill — caused alarm when he broke lanterns at the Grand Mosque. 

First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

Updated 17 July 2019

First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

  • 4,000 to partake in this year’s pilgrimage after Saudi Arabia increased quota

COLOMBO: Nearly 180 Sri Lankan Hajj pilgrims left for Saudi Arabia on Monday night, but not before thanking the Kingdom for the comprehensive facilities offered to them.

Mohamed Hashim Mohamed Haleem, Sri Lanka’s minister of postal services and Muslim religious affairs, said that this year’s issuing of Hajj visas was smooth due to the new e-Hajj services introduced by the Saudi government. 

“We were able to process all 4,000 Hajj visas efficiently. All of them were issued well in time,” Haleem said.

He added that officials from his ministry will be available at the airport to assist the pilgrims with their departures.

The minister said the flights of pilgrims this year will be ferried by both Saudi Arabian Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines. Haleem, who intends to participate in this year’s Hajj, said that the last flight of Sri Lankan pilgrims will leave Colombo on Aug. 7.

Sajjath Mohammed, a journalist from Madawala News, praised the e-Hajj service, saying: “The biometric services for the visas were available to pilgrims in Kandy and Batticaloa in addition to Colombo, the capital of the island.”

Rizmi Reyal, president of the International Airline Ticketing Academy in Sri Lanka, said that this year the Hajj services from Colombo have been enhanced to give a better experience to the pilgrims. He thanked the Saudi government, the Muslim Religious Affairs Ministry in Colombo, the Saudi Embassy in Colombo and the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh for playing their part in these improvements.

The Sri Lankan government will also send a medical team to attend to any urgent needs of the pilgrims before they are taken to the nearest medical facilities in the two holy cities.